Authors of a game yet execrable, the Blues managed to beat Russia (23-22) on Thursday. A victory of no consequence for the rest of the World Cup.
By dominating unified Korea mid-afternoon (35-26), Brazil had not only validated its ticket for the main round, but also removed any interest in the France-Russia duel. At the accounting level at least since the Experts, regardless of their result of the day, will start the next phase with three points on the clock. Like Germany. But in terms of the game, everyone had eyes only for Nikola Karabatic and Melvyn Richardson, who included the 16 th on Thursday. Two very different profiles, between a player who celebrated his 300th selection and another who played his first match in selection A in a big international competition.
Except that Karabatic returned after a three-month absence due to a left foot operation, which was felt at the beginning of the match where he missed both attempts. Symbol of a French team in diesel mode, guilty of too many firing failures and led 3-0 after five minutes. Fortunately, the Russians were not left level mess, helped by an excellent Vincent Gerard, and the reigning doubles world champions resurfaced at fifteen minutes of play (5-5). The match continued on this languid pace, with the Blues who could rely on the efficiency of Richardson to stay in contact with Russia (12-12 at the break).
But from the start, France began to recite his ... worse handball. Ball losses galore, missed at six meters, everything went in front of Russians who, without being great or even impressive, took three steps ahead (13-16, 40th). Simply, Didier Dinart's men were not there. The return of Nikola Karabatic fifteen minutes from the end could he wake up drowsy troops? Not really since Russia took even four units in advance (17-21, 48th). Ludovic Fabregas brought back the space of a moment a little hope (19-21, 51) but nothing helped, the Experts did not find the thread, like this jet of seven meters totally missed by Kentin Mahé . Except that during the last seven minutes, the Russians took up the challenge of playing even worse and disintegrated completely to offer the victory to the French who did not ask so much (23-22). A very interesting match.