Tuesday , September 29 2020

the blues qualified for Euro 2020 … but shaken by Moldova


Benjamin Paward, after opening the scoring for Moldova, on November 14 in Saint-Denis.
Benjamin Paward, after opening the scoring for Moldova, on November 14 in Saint-Denis. BERLAND GUY / AFP

The Blues may have had to foresee their circle of honor before the start of departure. They already had insurance to qualify for Euro 2020, even before they entered the lawn. It gained a little earlier in the evening, as Turkey's zero math (0-0) – also qualified – against Iceland.

The Blues still celebrated their victory. But it is not enough to swallow for a long time, following Moldova's narrow and late (2-1) success. The kind of match that the French team will quickly try to forget about everything except winning on Thursday, November 14, in the cold of Saint-Denis. The kind of match that still allows us to take first place in the Group C qualification, just before Turkey, three days after their last trip to Albania.

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The ruling world champions will be pleased. They already knew they were wrong, as they lost to the Turks (2-0) in June. But no doubt they envisioned another start to the match on Thursday night against Moldova, which resulted in a 9e on the 35the minute. Yes, Moldova, this nation still 175e in the first place, this team beat 4-1 in the first match, this opponent whose new coach, Engin Firat (Turkish …) lived his first match since taking office.

Lack of inspiration

Opponent 'Transform'said Didier Deschamps after that. The French coach could have said the same thing from his team, but in the opposite direction, so his players seemed hesitant, lacking offensive inspiration, including Caliani Mbape. Their first period? "Very complicated, insufficient compared to what we are able to do. " The second? A little better, but without really removing the feeling that you've seen the collective play often "Too static, insufficient movement, availability".

In the absence of the brio, this qualification rewards good attendance: the French team is preparing to play its thirteenth major competition in a row, whether it be the Euro or the World Cup.

It may seem obvious, but Didier Deschamps doesn't know. The coach has already experienced the (successful) transition from roadblocks to Ukraine in 2013, ahead of the World Cup in Brazil a year later. Just as the former player lived, this time on the field, the play-offs (well missed, them) since 1993: these games were lost against Israel, then Bulgaria, Park de Princes and this eviction before the start of the World Cup. in the United States.

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Didier Deschamps knows something else. He can always count on Olivier Giroud. “As long as it lasts! " The center-forward has not played in his club, or so little: barely twenty minutes with the London Chelsea from his previous match in France. But the center-forward scores a goal for France.

Penalty for the victory against Moldova in the second half, eleven minutes from the end, after a foul over Lucas Dign, that's it. The one against Iceland a month earlier (1-0), that was it too.

Injured patients

Oudirud has already shown his tool during the 2018 World Cup, without having to score a goal. From the title, the blue collective has changed a little. That is, we do not replace a team that wins the World Cup. However, some retouches to deal with the many injured in recent months. Against Moldova, Hugo Loris, Samuel Umititi, Lucas Hernandez, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi were still missing …

Clement Langlet (Barcelona) made his international debut only this year. The central defender played his sixth international game against Moldova. Not the most successful, his two bad headings leading to the opening result, by Vadim Rata. "He must not be guilty of guilt", relativizes Didier Deschamps.

With the same inclination to diplomatic language, Rafael Varane, the captain, author of the equalizer in the first period, prefers to hold particular "Very good result" evening. Qualification and nothing else. Even his equalizer on the head after Antoine Griezmann's free kick.

A controversial goal, according to Engin Firat. Moldova's coach wants Olivier Giroud, who accuses him of embarrassing his goalkeeper, Alexei Koselev. He also wants the referee to confirm this goal. " unacceptable ".

On Thursday night, about 70,000 spectators still had to attend the final game of the year at home. It is very much during the week against an opponent just as modest as Moldova and for qualifications even before kick-off. Especially for the proposed show.

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