France thumped the Netherlands 4-0 in Paris on Friday night with new French captain Kylian Mbappé leading the way. The fixture was a matchup of the top two teams in Group B of the 2024 Euro qualifiers.
The hosts started with a bang as Antoine Griezmann put the ball into the back of the net inside two minutes. The attacker began the move with a slick tackle on a Dutch player. Randal Kolo Muani then played a square pass to Mbappé, who found Griezmann wide open at the edge of the box. Griezmann neatly placed a left-footed shot passed a diving Jasper Cillessen. It was his first goal for the national team in 17 total matches.
The dynamic French duo previously made headlines this week because of the team’s new captaincy. Head coach Didier Deschamps gave the armband to Mbappé after Huge Lloris retired. This, however, did not go down with Griezmann, as he wanted to be the next French captain. Nevertheless, the two players worked brilliantly together for the goal.
Early France onslaught on the Netherlands includes Mbappé
Dayot Upamecano doubled France’s lead just six minutes later. Cillessen made a bit of a mess of a free kick, as the ball bounced off of his chest and fell straight to the French defender. Although it wasn’t exactly a phenomenal finish, Upamecano rolled the ball across the line for the goal.
Mbappé added a third goal in the 22nd minute of the match. Aurélien Tchouaméni attempted a pass to Kolo Muani, who tried to nick the ball through to an onrushing Mbappé. However, it didn’t appear that the striker got a touch on the ball and it went straight through to the PSG forward. The superstar then slotted home his 1 on 1 opportunity against Cillessen. France had three total shots at this point of the match and converted all of them.
Second half not quite as hectic as the first
While the first half was filled with goals and dominated by France, the second was certainly more even. Both sides had decent chances to change the scoreline in the opening 20 minutes of the final period. Mike Maignan was forced to make a save from a dangerous free kick. Then the aforementioned Kolo Muani also missed a glorious opportunity to give France another goal.
Mbappé would, however, net his second goal of the game just minutes before the full-time whistle. The superstar casually strolled through the Netherlands defense and struck a powerful shot into the bottom corner of the net. Mbappé faked two shots, making defenders fall to the floor, before finally pulling the trigger on the strike.
The Netherlands were awarded a late penalty in the match thanks to a handball inside the box by Upamecano. Memphis Depay, however, failed to convert the spot kick. Maignan made the initial save and then followed up with another on the rebound.
France will look to keep their place atop Group B when they face Ireland on Monday. The Netherlands, on the other hand, are set to play Gibraltar in their next 2024 Euro qualification match.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PanoramiC
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