French lesson for Argentina
FRANCE announced their surprising entry onto the knockout stage of the World Cup with their biggest win. France shed the disappointments of their last two matches, which they deserved to win. They shook off the pressure of the big stage and the tag of underdogs. Once all the shackles were broken, world No. 20 France tip-toed their way to the most stunning victory of the World Cup in Bhubaneswar.
An electric and brave French team shocked world No. 2 and reigning Olympics champions Argentina 5-3 to finish second in a pool also including Spain and New Zealand. The Argentina that showed up today did not represent their big tags. They were complacent, just like they had been in the opener against Spain. This time they were 0-3 down within 26 minutes and then trailed 1-4 at halftime.
Goals from Hugo Genestet (18th minute), captain Victor Charlet (23rd) and Aristide Coisne (26th) woke up Argentina, who got one back in the 28th minute through Lucas Martinez. Confirmed the top spot in the pool no matter what the result, Argentina didn’t look too bothered. Martinez’s strike gave them the reassurance that the goals would come. But before they could build on the goal, Gaspard Baumgarten made it 4-1 in the last minute of the second quarter. With their reputation on the line, Argentina stepped up. So did their go-to man, Gonzalo Peillat, who had not been too effective so far in the match.