Giroud brace puts France top

France eased to a 3-1 victory over minnows Luxembourg in their Group A 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Stade Josy Barthel on Saturday evening.

  • Luxembourg 1 France 3
  • Giroud opens scoring
  • Collin equalises from spot
  • Griezmann puts France ahead
  • Giroud adds third after HT
  • Mbappe makes senior debut
  • France rise top of Group A

Match summary

Olivier Giroud silenced the home crowd in the 28th minute with the opening goal, but they soon found their voice again when captain Aurélien Joachim scored an historic equaliser from the spot.

However, the joy was short-lived when Antoine Griezmann put the visitors ahead three minutes later, with a penalty of their own.

Giroud grabbed his brace in the 77th minute to make the points safe for Didier Deschamps' side.

Full report

It was a gutsy display from the home side ranked 135th in the world against one of Europe's powerhouses, in form of France.

It took Les Blues almost half an hour to eventually break the deadlock, after some valiant defending from Les Lions Rouges.

Antoine Griezmann picked up a loose ball and sprayed it out wide to the right flank, full-back Djibril Sidibé was at hand to fizz in an accurate delivery for Oliver Giroud to tap home the first of the evening.

However, the home side shocked their illustrious opponents, when midfielder Blaise Matuidi's clumsy challenge inside the area was rightfully punished. And Lierse striker Aurélien Joachim stepped up to send goalkeeper Hugo Lloris the wrong way – to equalise in the 34th minute.

The lead lasted all but three minutes, as Daniel Alves da Mota inexplicably brought down the dangerous Sidibe – bringing him down in the area after another marauding run from the in-form Monaco defender. 

Griezmann showed real composure with the subsequent spot-kick and found the back of the net, despite goalkeeper Anthony Morris getting his fingertips to the effort.

Luc Holtz side' who are still winless in the current qualifiers, put up a brave second-half display to keep the scoreline respectable against one of the most talented attacking outfits in Europe.

But, Giroud managed to grab his brace and Les Blues third of the evening in the 77th minute, as another Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy impressed with an assist on his debut.

And their was another debutant before full-time, as 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe entered the field of play for Dimitri Payet.

The highly-rated teenager showed some real promise in his cameo appearance to hand manager Didier Deschamps even more headaches for future squad selections.

The win sees France return to the top of Group A with 13 points, three ahead of Sweden.

 

Comments