Canada’s men’s field hockey team narrowly dropped the first of three exhibition matches with the French by a score 4-3 Sunday at the Touquet Athletic Club in Le Touquet, France.
After a scoreless first half, the teams combined for a seven goal second half with the host team holding the edge in the end, despite the Canadian men coming from behind to erase a 2-0 deficit.
It was the first game Canada’s men have played together since the end of World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago the first week of April.
Team captain Scott Tupper, and forwards Keegan Pereira and Floris van son, who scored a goal in Sunday’s loss, returned to international duty after playing for their respective club teams in Europe.
After France went up 2-0 early in the second half, Canada mounted a comeback on goals from van Son on a deflection, and Gordon Johnston on an improvised penalty corner.
France re-took the lead with took consecutive goals, one on a baseline cross and the other on a penalty corner, to go up 4-2.
Canada once again battled back, with Johnston picking up the third Canadian goal, his second of the game, in the final moments. But Canada was not able to find an equalizer before the end of time.
The two teams are back in action on Monday at the Douai Hockey Club before closing out their exhibition series on Wednesday in Wattignies.