Dembele scores, Mbappe misses penalty as France beat Kazakhstan

Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) (AFP) – Ousmane Dembele scored the opening goal as holders France beat Kazakhstan 2-0 away on Sunday to claim the first victory in their campaign to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Sergei Maliy put through his own net for France’s second goal before half-time but Kylian Mbappe had a second-half penalty saved after coming off the bench.

It was a welcome result for the reigning world champions after they kicked off their campaign in qualifying Group D by drawing 1-1 at home to Ukraine last Wednesday.

Didier Deschamps’ side now stop off in Sarajevo for another match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday to complete a hectic start to qualifying before reverting their focus to the delayed Euro 2020 in June.

In an attempt to keep his squad fresh, Deschamps made nine changes to his line-up following the Ukraine draw for the match in Nur-Sultan, more than 5,000 kilometres east of Paris in Central Asia.

Antoine Griezmann, who scored France’s goal against Ukraine, was the only outfield player to keep his place in the side, while Hugo Lloris again started in goal as he won his 122nd cap.

Griezmann’s Barcelona teammate Dembele was one of those brought into the team as he started for France in a competitive game for the first time since the triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia.

It was Dembele who got the breakthrough in the 20th minute, controlling on the edge of the box and scoring with a low drive into the corner of the net after good work by Anthony Martial to set him up.

France scored again a minute before half-time when defender Maliy headed a Griezmann corner into his own net as he tried to hold off Paul Pogba.

That effectively ended any doubt about the outcome of the contest with Kazakhstan, ranked 122nd in the world, struggling to create any chances at the other end.

Manchester United forward Martial took a knock and was eventually replaced just before the hour mark by Mbappe, who had several chances to add to France’s lead.

The best opportunity for the Paris Saint-Germain star came from the spot in the 75th minute after he had been brought down by Nuraly Alip.

However, Mbappe’s kick was turned around the post by home goalkeeper Aleksandr Mokin.

25+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, Liga MX, MLS & World Cup
  • Includes ESPN, FOX, Univision, TUDN and more
Favorite Leagues At The Best Price
  • Starting price: $7.99/mo. for Live TV Package
  • Watch Argentine league, Brasileirāo and Copa Libertadores
  • Includes beIN SPORTS, GolTV, TyC Sports and more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, Copa del Rey & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
Live TV, Soccer & Originals
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo.
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & more
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Get All 3 And Save 30%
  • $13.99/mo. for ESPN+, Disney+ & Hulu
  • Includes Bundesliga, LaLiga, NHL & the home to UFC
  • Features Marvel, Star Wars + shows & movies for your entire family

Leave a Reply

Translate »