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HUGO GENESTER:Good for forward march of France (12/7/2018)
--Errol D’Cruz
Hugo Genestet spent a sleepless night on Monday after missing a penalty stroke for France against Spain. The award came towards the end of the match with the scores 1-1 in a crucial pool A match of the World Cup at the Kalinga stadium and the young Frenchman’s attempt was superbly saved by Quico Cortes. undefined

The match ended in a draw with no further change to the scoreline and it set up a daunting challenge for the French.

Their opponents in their concluding pool match would be Olympic champions and world No. 2 Argentina and a victory would be imperative for the lowest ranked team in the tournament (No. 20).

Another sleepless night was likely to follow. This time not out of despair but celebration.

Genestet put the missed stroke behind him and scored the first goal to put France on the road to a stunning 5-3 win over pool toppers Argentina on Thursday and finish second in the pool.

“Now, I think we can beat any team in the competition after this game,” said the sparkling midfielder whose brother Tom is a teammate.

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“It’s a great night for French hockey. We will see who our next opponent and take it from there,” he added.

The Genestets are truly a hockey family. There is a third brother, Martin, who was once formed a trio of siblings in the national team. Their parents played for France too.

Their grandparents also played the game. So, hockey, it’s clear, runs through the veins of the Genetset family. Hugo, however, plays his hockey in Belgium where he assists Royal Daring club. In the 2015 Hockey World League semifinal round in Antwerp, the brothers pieced together a spectacular goal in the quarterfinal clash against hosts Belgium.

Now 29 years old, Tom blocked a penalty corner attempt and the ball travelled to Hugo (now 24), who dribbled past the Belgian defence and crossed to Martin (31), who slotted home.

France, however, lost the match 4-5 after trailing 0-2.

The brothers took bereavement in their stride during the 2012 Olympic qualifiers in New Delhi. Christophe, their father, suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away but the trio decided to stay with the team to play a crucial game against Canada which France drew on their way to the final against India.

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