Giroud scores in France win
France striker Olivier Giroud ended a run of 10 international games without a goal by netting a stunning winner as the world champions claimed a deserved 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in their Nations League clash on Sunday.
- Published 11.09.18
Paris: France striker Olivier Giroud ended a run of 10 international games without a goal by netting a stunning winner as the world champions claimed a deserved 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in their Nations League clash on Sunday.
The night started with a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise as France played their first home fixture since lifting the World Cup in July, and ended with a comfortable victory for the hosts at the Stade de France. The excellent Kylian Mbappe set France on their way with a first-half opener, but forward Ryan Babel equalised for the visitors with their only meaningful shot on target.
Giroud produced a moment of magic with a superb volley 15 minutes from fulltime to seal the win, as France recorded a fifth successive victory over the Dutch.
"The victory is the most important thing for the party to be really beautiful," France coach Didier Deschamps told broadcaster M6 after the game. "I'm very happy for Olivier. It happens that strikers have periods when they are less effective.
"I said before the World Cup, Olivier is often unjustly criticised. We cannot ask him to do what other attackers do, but he is very important to the team. It is when he is not there that we realise his value."
Deschamps kept the same starting line-up that drew 0-0 with Germany on Thursday, a sign of his desire to cap France's homecoming with a victory and keep the World Cup after-party in full swing.
Mbappe tested the reflexes of Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen early on, before the lively forward provided a tame finish from Antoine Griezmann's pass.