#FIHSeriesFinals: Thrilling day in le Touquet with tension, speed, draws and surprises!

The second day of the FIH Men’s Series Finals in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, France provided a spectacular intensity with tight matches. Scotland were winners against Singapore, while Ukraine versus Chile and Korea versus France finished in draws. Beyond all expectation Egypt defeated Ireland in a captivating match that provided the first big surprise of the tournament.

Scotland v Singapore (Pool A)

Both teams were defeated by their respective opponents in their first pool matches yesterday and were determined to claim their first three points. Scotland started quickly and opened the scoring through a penalty corner from Cameron Golden. At the very end of this first quarter, Golden scored again to make it 2-0, this time netting from open play.

Singapore defended really well in the early stages of the second quarter, although a yellow card five-minute suspension to Aidil Ibrahim did not help their cause before Edward Greaves made it 3-0 to the Scots in the 24th minute.

Singapore also impressed in the third quarter, only conceding at the end of the period when Kenny Bain netted the fourth Scottish goal. Andy Bull completed a 5-0 score-line with a penalty corner, with Scotland finishing the day second behind Egypt in Pool A.

Scotland goal scorer Kenny Bain said: “Tomorrow is a rest day so we will have a normal recovery, certainly a Fun day tomorrow but also focus on the match against Egypt on Tuesday.”


FIH Series Finals Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, 2019

Result: Scotland 5, Singapore 0 (Pool A)

Umpires: ESTEBANEZ Diego (ESP), CHOLEWA Kris (IRL),

Reserve Umpire: KAMARUDDIN Nazmi (MAS) (Entered)


Egypt v Ireland (Pool A)

Both winners in their first matches, Egypt and Ireland started this game with a tangible pressure. Despite a few goal opportunities and a penalty corner for Ireland, the score remained unchanged during the first quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter, Ireland received a second chance to score with a penalty corner and converted it through John Jackson. Ireland’s lead lasted just four minutes, with Mohamed Adel levelling with a penalty corner of their own.
Egypt’s winning goal arrived with thirteen minutes of the match remaining, with Ahmed Elhakim scoring from open play. Ireland pressurised the Egyptian backline but could not get the breakthrough, with goalkeeper Mohamed Sayed making some important saves as Egypt recorded the first upset of the competition.
Egypt captain Ahmed Ezz said: “it was a good game for us. Ireland played really well and it is a great chance to be at the top of our pool.”


FIH Series Finals Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, 2019

Result: Egypt 2, Ireland 1 (Pool A)

Umpires: WALKER Paul (ENG), PETERS Benjamin (USA)


Ukraine v Chile (Pool B)

With Ukraine and Chile both lost their matches on Saturday (against France and Korea respectively), both sides knew that this was a big opportunity to claim some points ahead of the rest day.

The match remained score-less for the first two quarters and was closely contested, although things change in the third period when Ukraine’s Vitalii Kalinchuk beat Chilean goalkeeper Araya Agustin to make it 1-0. Chile levelled with a penalty corner from Pablo Purcell, before Andrii Koshelenko’s penalty stroke restored Ukraine’s lead at 2-1. However, Javier Osses pulled Chile level once again, making the score 2-2 going into the final quarter. Remarkably, nothing changed after that four-goal burst in the third quarter, with the match finishing with the scores locked together.

Chilean captain, Fernando Renz said: “It was a tough game today and we didn’t play well. France is going to be hard match, but we are going to do our best.”


FIH Series Finals Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, 2019

Result: Ukraine 2, Chile 2 (Pool B)

Umpires: BELL Fraser (SCO), BENNETT Nick (ENG)


Korea v France (Pool B)

The 18:00 match in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage was what the majority of the spectators had been waiting for, as the top two teams in Pool B went head to head. The pressure was high, but les bleus unblocked the scoreboard in the 11th minute with a penalty corner converted by French Captain Hugo Genestet (#7).

Korean National team defended with strength and even converted their first penalty corner thanks JANG Jonghyun, who beat goalkeeper Arthur Thieffry with a drag-flick. France hard and created several opportunities, but both teams went into half-time with a draw 1-1.

In the third quarter, France hit the post and missed penalty corner chances as they applied serious pressure on the Korea defence. Korea also had their chances as both goalkeepers were forced into action.

With the sound of “Allez les Bleus” ringing around the stadium, France kept on attacking but were regularly stopped in their tracks by Korea goalkeeper Kim Jaehyeon, who played a crucial role to earn his team a draw against the host nation.

France captain Hugo Genestet said: “It was a tough game today but Korea is really good team. I think with more efficiency we could have won the game but if we continue to play like this we can do well in this tournament.”


FIH Series Finals Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, 2019

Result: Korea 1, France 1 (Pool B)

Umpires: KLENK Tyler (CAN), OTTEN Michiel (NED)


The action continues Tuesday 18 with last pool matches:

Pool A:

Korea v Ukraine: 11:15 CEST

Scotland v Egypt: 13:30 CEST

Pool B:

Ireland v Singapore: 15:45 CEST

France v Chile: 18:00 CEST