Captain Mbappé guides France | Sports
After eight minutes, France led the Netherlands by two goals. In minute 22 came the third, half an hour into the game the crowd that packed Saint-Denis began to wave and a little before the break began to sing La Marseillaise among a continuous waving of tricolor flags. Hours after the Argentine Monumental received the world champion team with endless displays of jubilation and emotion, the temple of French football licked the wounds of the defeat in the already historic face and cross of Qatar. France continues to do its thing, like a hammer at the start of the qualifying process for the next Euro Cup, uncontested (4-0) for the Netherlands, decimated by the absence of players like Gakpo, De Ligt or Botman, who are recovering from food poisoning that serves as an alibi for Ronald Koeman on his return to the team orange.
France enjoyed a few days of uncertainty after Deschamps made the decision to give Kylian Mbappé the captain’s armband that Hugo Lloris wore until the last World Cup. The Tottenham goalkeeper has said goodbye to the national team and the succession pointed to Antoine Griezmann. Deschamps did not have that idea, who also had the backing of Olivier Giroud, the footballer who after Lloris the most times, 121 times out of 118 for the Atlético footballer, has worn the national team shirt. “I’m happy for Kylian. He is the link between the old and the new generation and he has shown that he is a leader, ”explained the Milan striker. Griezmann wanted the captaincy, but Mbappé took it upon himself to tune the bagpipes: “We’ll go hand in hand.” Said and done: two minutes into the game he gave a goal pass to his teammate and from there everything went smoothly for France, who put aside the debates outside the pitch.
In reality, that first goal was born from Griezmann’s greed, who launched himself in tackle to recover the ball in a sensitive area and put together a winning counter. Shortly after, Upamecano increased the advantage by taking advantage of a timorous departure from Cillesen, who Van Gaal got off from the trip to Qatar and now recovered by Koeman. Halfway through the first half, the Dutch defense opened a hole for a deep pass from Tchouameni, preferred for the starting position ahead of Camavinga, to find Mbappé, relentless in the one-on-one.
It all ended there. The orange team handled the ball without a fang. France was waiting for some counter to show off their sprinters. Only his lack of aim prevented a major win before Mbappé, almost on time, took advantage of the umpteenth inaccuracy of the rival with the ball to shoot towards the goal and define with a couple of feints only within the reach of the chosen ones. The Netherlands took their disaster to the end. In the last play of the game, Memphis Depay missed a penalty, saved by Milan’s goalkeeper Maignan.
France was not the first seed in a group in which the Netherlands should be their main rival and completed by Gibraltar and Greece, who met in the Portuguese Algarve with a Hellenic victory (0-3), and Ireland. France visit Dublin next Tuesday, but the world runners-up are not the only team starting strong. The new Belgium of the new German coach Domenico Tedesco defeated a disappointing Sweden in the always complicated feud of Stockholm, punished by a hat trick from Lukaku (0-3) in a group in which Austria beat Azerbaijan (4-1). The Czech Republic also started solidly, beating Poland (3-1) in Prague in a very open group in which Moldova and the Faroe Islands drew (1-1) pending Albania’s debut. The first two classified in each group secure the pass to the Eurocup in Germany.
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