(Football news) France played their first match since the World Cup final loss against Netherlands. Didier Deschamps started Ibrahima Konate alongside Dayot Upamecano as Raphael Varane has retired from international football. Mike Maignan started in goal as Hugo Lloris alsk retired from international football. Randall Kolo Muani started up front while Olivier Giroud was on the bench. It was Ronald Koeman’s first game incharge of Netherlands and he lined up in a 4-3-3 with Memphis Depay up front. 19 year old Xavi Simmons started on the left wing for only the 2nd time. After missing the World Cup, Jasper Cillessen returned between the sticks.
It was more or less a perfect game for France as the Dutch team were completely outplayed. Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring inside 2 minutes after being set up by France’s new captain Kylian Mbappe. 6 minutes later Dayot Upamecano scored from a set piece to make it 2-0. In the 21st minute Aurélien Tchouaméni assisted Kylian Mbappe to seal the match. The PSG star scored a 4th goal for France in the 88th minute after beating several defenders. In the dying minutes of the game Dayot Upamecano handled the ball in the box which gave Netherlands a chance to salvage a goal. Memphis Depay stepped up to take the spot kick but Mike Maignan made a very good save.
France’s next game will be against Ireland while Netherlands will take on Gibraltar. Ronald Koeman is coming into management after a tough spell at Barcelona so it will be difficult for him. Didier Deschamps on the other hand has to do a semi rebuild with the squad and he has already started doing that. The decision to appoint Kylian Mbappe as the captain ahead of Antoine Griezmann was a very bold one. It clearly indicates that Deschamps is thinking long term which is why he has selected a young captain.