Credit: Watch Hockey
Credit: Watch Hockey

Quotes: Credit to France, we need more energy at the start of the game says captain Vivek Sagar Prasad.

Here’s a look at the full-time stats:

Credit: Watch Hockey

FT: India 4-5 France Superb drag flicks from Sanjay for a hat-trick, but too little too late. France hang on till the final whistle. What a match!

Q4: IND 4-5 FRA: HAT-TRICK FOR SANJAY! INDIA HAVE FOUGHT BACK TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT. Another PC, another drag flick. 2 mins to go.

Q4: IND 3-5 FRA, GOALLL INDIA! Well, well. India have a brief glimmer of hope. Less than 4 mins to go, Sanjay converts another PC for his 2nd goal of the night. Reid looks purposefully animated. India rush back to the center circle.

Q4, India 2-5 France: Good defence from France but a foul results in another PC.

Q4, India 2-5 France: That was really good play from Maninder as the replays show his blistering effort at the crossbar. India pushing and pushing. But with 5 mins to go, France should feel comfortable. Another chance down the left and another save, this time though eventually a PC for India. 4 mins to go.

Q4, India 2-5 France: CHANCE, INDIA! A superb move from Maninder Singh as he dribbles through the heart of the French defence and unleashes the strike, looks like it hit the goalkeeper or the crossbar and went away from the danger area. From the crossbar, yes.

Q4, India 2-5 France: Last 10 minutes now... France comfortable in defence. India not threatening, certainly not enough for three goals.

Q4, India 2-5 France: Oh dear. India commit players forward and Corentin SELLIER makes the most of it, dribbles into the circle and finishes off a field goal.

Q4, India 2-4 France: Great play by Sudeep down the left and near the byline, but France defend brilliantly too. Not even a PC. Turnover from France and Sudeep comes again but more good defending. 13 mins to go.

End of Q3, India 2-4 France: The French finish the quarter stronger. Couple of matches. India hold on but they need more.

Q3, India 2-4 France: India enjoying possession but apart from the set-piece situations, they have not created too many (or at least enough) chances. 90 secs to go in this quarter.

Q3, India 2-4 France: Not sure which Clement it was but a sensational stop... well, it is the captain! That is worth another goal for him tonight. The goalkeeper was beaten, but he makes sure the PC didn’t result in an Indian goal.

Q3, India 2-4 France: India trying to control possession, staying patient for now. Not panicking just yet. France will be happy if India recycle the ball though. 9 to go in this Q3.

Q3, India 2-4 France, GOAL FRANCE: Third PC on the trot... India rushing well but are unable to clear it properly... and finally the defence in breached. The French captain again! His hat-trick. Timothée CLÉMENT is the name. What a night for him.

First half: More shots for France, more PCs for France, slightly more possession for France. India must look at the scoreline and be glad they are still in this match. Q3 begin and France have an early PC.

Second half underway.

HALF TIME stats:

8 shots for France, 3 for India.

5 PCs for France and 3 for India.

51% possession for France.

HALF TIME: oh, confirmation during the half-time that Uttam Singh scored the first for India after a failed clearance by France off the PC.

Good finish to the half for India after a period of great pressure. Work to do in the 2nd half.

HALF TIME: India 2-3 France: India possession in the final moments... no goal though despite the ball hitting the back of the post. No touch in the circle. And the hooter goes! PHEW.

Q2: India 2-3 France: PC for India with 1:33 to go. OFF THE POST! Not quite sure who took the drag flick this time. Good hit, but fine margins.

Q2: India 2-3 France: Huge chance, India. A rare foray forward for the Indians and it is Maninder Singh with a chance down the left flank. His cross-cum-shot is not connected neither deflected in.

Q2: India 2-3 France: Finally some relief for India. A variation from France goes wide... oh hang on, it is another PC after India lose the ball. Oh dear.

Q2: India 2-3 France: A series of PCS for France. with 5:30 to go. India just hanging on.

Q2: India 2-3 France: GOAL FRANCE! Timothée CLÉMENT once again. The French captain scores a drag flick from a PC and the visitors are back in front. Great injection from the byline. Second goal for the French skipper.

Q2: India 2-2 France: Now a PC for France with 7 mins to go in Q2. If I am not mistaken, their first of the match.

Q2: India 2-2 France: Big chances at both ends... neither side able to apply finishing touches. 8 mins to go in the half, remains 2-2.

Q2: India 2-2 France: A green card for French captain, can India make the most of the man’s advantage for 2 mins.

Q2 begins.

Q1: India 2-2 France: GOALLLL INDIA! EQUALISER! Sudeep, in fact, might have won the PC. But Sanjay is the scorer. Superb drag flick. And with that, it is the end of Q1 as well.

Q1: India 1-2 France: In the closing seconds of Q1, vice captain Sanjay seems to have won another PC. Indeed, yes. Can they equalise?

Q1: India 1-2 France: India have pulled one back. Not quite sure who scored (looked like Uttam Singh applying the finishing touches from close range from the broken images we saw)

Q1: India 0-2 France, PC India: Good work initially by Sanjay from the right flank and it results in a PC that India will dearly want to convert. six mins to go in Q1.

Q1: India 0-2 France, GOAL FRANCE!!! No 11 MARQUÉ Benjamin is the goalscorer. A stunning move down the right by France, worked well by CLÉMENT Mathis who pulls it back into the middle and it is swept home! WHAT A START!

Q1: India 0-1 France: After the chaotic opening, India are controlling possession now. But no clear cut chances fashioned yet by the men playing in white today.

Q1: India 0-1 France: GOAL, FRANCE! What a start in Odisha. CLÉMENT Timothée (C) scores the opener, via a field goal. A reverse hit after a save was made.

Pool B: Canada, France, India, Poland

Canada 0-1 Poland earlier today. Can India start their title defence with a win?

The national anthems are done, we are all set for pushback.

08.02 pm: We are having technical difficulties with the app, bear with us while we try to get it working.

Here’s the first Indian XI that will get on the pitch in Odisha:

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup. The Indian youngsters begin their title defence at the a clash against France in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha on Wednesday. The match starts at 8 pm and will be live on Watch Hockey.

Indian men’s senior side created history at the Tokyo Olympics by claiming a bronze medal after 41 years. The junior side would look to add another chapter to a successful 2021 season by retaining the World Cup title, which would be the country’s third. The team first won the World Cup title in 2001 in Australia before reclaiming the crown in the last edition of the event in 2016 in Lucknow.

The junior hockey World Cup is considered a stepping stone for aspiring youngsters to play the game at the senior level as nine players from the 2016 squad represented India at the Tokyo Games. And many members of the Vivek Sagar Prasad-led Indian team would look to showcase their potential.

Follow’s coverage of Hockey Junior World Cup here.

FIH Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup preview: All you need to know about India’s title defence