Hockey WC 2018: New Zealand defeat France 2-1

Bhubaneswar: New Zealand pipped France 2-1 in its opening game of the Hockey World Cup 2018 at the Kalinga stadium here on Thursday.

After a goalless first quarter, Kane Russell scored for New Zealand in the 17th minute and as France failed to convert opportunities in the later part of the second quarter, the Kiwis enjoyed a 1-0 lead at half-time.

Later, a long pass from midfield was well controlled by Stephen Jenness, who made no mistake in finding the back of the net, making the scoreline read 2-0 in New Zealand’s favour with just four minutes of play left.

It seemed France wouldn’t be able to open its account but Victor Charlet converted a penalty corner in the 59th minute to make the score 2-1.