Narrow win for France
A slice of luck and a moment of individual brilliance during a mazy run from Kylian Mbappe gave France a gritty 1-0 win away to Sweden in their Nations League A Group 3 clash on Saturday with Antoine Griezmann even missing a last-minute penalty.
France coach Didier Deschamps tried a new 3-4-1-2 system but the Swedes, promoted to the competition’s top tier after their group victory last year, frustrated the world champions for the first 40 minutes until Mbappe proved to be the difference.
The PSG striker got a fortunate bounce off a defender’s legs as he danced through the right side of the Swedish defence before beating goalkeeper Robin Olsen from a very tight angle at his near post.
Mbappe was pleased with his coach’s tactical switch.
“I like being closer to goal, it makes me happy. I think it’s a system that suits the characteristics of other players in the team too,” he said.
In Copenhagen, Belgium enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win away to Denmark thanks to a goal in each half from Jason Denayer and Dries Mertens.
Kasper Hjulmand’s reign as Denmark coach got off to a bad start when Jason Denayer put the visitors ahead in the ninth minute.
There was little Denmark ’keeper Kasper Schmeichel could do in the 77th minute, after he parried a shot from Youri Tielemans and Mertens reacted quickest to slam the ball home and double the advantage for Belgium.