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Budapest 2017 – Day 8 : Canada falls to France in classification match

(Budapest, Hungary, July 23 2017) – Canada fell to France 10-6 in the first classification match of the 2017 FINA World Championships, in Budapest, Hungary. Canada and France were neck to neck for most of the game, until the French took the lead in the fourth quarter.

Canada opened up the score in the first quarter, when Devon Thumwood scored on a French exclusion. France evened up the score almost immediately (1-1). Thumwood added one more on a converted penalty shot, just to see Aria Soleimani net one to put Canada in front 3-1. France answered back on a double Canadian exclusion and added one more to tie the score. D’Souza would give back the lead to his team, just before the end of the quarter (4-3).

In the second quarter, both teams exchanged opportunities but the French took advantage of a penalty shot to come back at 4-4. After a long possession, France managed to take the lead. Canada’s Constantin-Bicari netted the equalizing goal, and both teams were tied at 5 at the end of the first half.

In the opening minutes of the second half, France capitalized on a power play opportunity taking a one-goal lead (5-6). The French added one more goal two minutes later, but Gaelan Patterson netted his first of the tournament to keep Canada within one goal. The Canadian squad was trailing by one goal heading into the final quarter (6-7).

A solid fourth quarter from the French showed they were determined to avoid a Canadian comeback late in the game. France scored three quick goals (6-10), forcing Canada to open up to attack the French net. Canada continued to put pressure on the opposing defense, but a great performance by French goalkeeper, Rémi Garsau, and couple of unlucky posts prevented the red and white from orchestrating a comeback.

"Tough game against France. They are an experienced team and they played better in the important moments of the game " said Nicolas Constantin-Bicari of the men's national team. 
Canada is now set to face South Africa for the 15th spot. The Canadian Men will play their final match at the 2017 FINA World Championships this Tuesday, July 25 at 9 :30 am local/ 3 :30 am ET. Canada women’s national team will face Hungary in the quarterfinal, Monday July 24 at 8 :30 pm local/ 2 :30 pm ET.


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