HomeFootball PlayersDidier DeschampsFrance held by Canada in stalemate ahead of Euro 2024

France held by Canada in stalemate ahead of Euro 2024

by foot.biz

France signed off at home before leaving for Euro 2024 with an entertaining but uninspiring draw with a disciplined and enterprising Canada.

In general play, the visitors gave as good as they got in the first half, confident on the ball and not unmenacing in attack. But it was France who came closest to opening the scoring, but goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau foiled them with three fine saves.

The match remained an enjoyable contest into the second half, Liam Millar powering a curler against the bar and Olivier Giroud, on his final appearance for France on home soil, narrowly missing with a variety of lunges.

Neither side, though, could find a route to goal, which will not worry Canada – they looked a decent, improving side – and will not worry France too much, especially as Kylian Mbappe only played the final 20 minutes. But they remained unconvincing; Didier Deschamps has work to do.

Talking point – Where are France going?

There is no sense that France are an improving team, and it may be that they do not need to be. With the players they have, they are capable of winning any game. But there remains the sense that they are not as good a team as they should be nor of what team they are trying to be, or want to be.

There is a lack of dynamism about France under Didier Deschamps that good passing sides can exploit, and the quality of their link-up play is not as sharp as it should be. Of course, there are players who did not play or start who will make them better – Mbappe, Aurelien Tchouameni – but there is a lack of fluency about it that feels endemic not specific.

It must also be said that winning international tournaments does not perhaps suit the kind of football France could play, but it is not that they are too careful, more that they do not pass and move as well as they could – and if they improved, they would be harder to beat, not easier. At this point, though, it seems unlikely they will change – and they may not have to.

Player of the match – Maxime Crepeau (Canada)

Three great saves in the first half, more good work in the second.

Player ratings

France: Maignan 6, Kounde 6, Saliba 7, Upamecano 6, Hernandez 6, Kante 6, Camavinga 6, Dembele 6, Thuram 5, Giroud 5. Subs: Mendy 6, Coman 6, Konate 6, Barcola 6, Mbappe 6, Kolo Muani 6.

Canada: Crepeau 8, Johnston 6, Bombito 6, Cornelius 7, Davies 7, Buchanan 6, Kone 6, Eustaquio 7, Millar 6, Larin 6, David 6. Subs: Osorio 6, Miller 6, Laryea 6, Shafeelburg 6, Oluwaseyi 6, Hiebert 6.

Key moments

Dembele picking a clever pass into the box and, down its right side, Kante is in! But despite Giroud in the middle, he opts to go for goal, hammering straight at Crepeau.

This time it’s Thuram, wandering over to the left and sweeping Griezmann’s cut-back goalwards … but again Crepeau saves, tipping onto the bar and over!

Griezmann swings out, Kounde leaps into a near-post flick-on …and from dead centre inside the box, Upamecano bobs over the kind of inexpert header you or I might muster. He was unmarked there, so that was a good chance.

He crosses, Crepeau gets down … and palms the ball into the danger area … but there’s no one there to punish and Cornelius clears. And what’s this! Canada break with Millar and he steps inside Kounde to make an angle for a curler … and the Preston North End man power-curls against the bar! What an effort!

Griezmann swigs it across … and Giroud, valedictory goal right there, hammers fresh air. France, though keep the attack going, Dembele putting a low cross into the box that Giroud just can’t slide foot around.

Eustaquoo with it. But rather than slide in Larin, he opts to go for goal, and Saliba slides in to block with his body. He makes the pass there, and it’s not a difficult one, he gives his mate a much better chance … but he’s a striker, he’s there to score, so.

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Source : Eurosport.co.uk

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