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France held to embarrassing draw by lowly Luxembourg Featured

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Published in Football
Monday, 04 September 2017 07:19

World Cup qualifying Group A, Stadium Municipal Toulouse - France 0 Luxembourg 0

2016 European championship finalists France have been held to a 0-0 home draw by lowly Luxembourg at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse.

France - 10th in the world rankings - were coming off the back of a 4-0 win over the Netherlands, while Luxembourg - the world's 136th best side - were already eliminated, rooted to the bottom of Group A.

Antoine Griemann and Paul Pogba went close with efforts from distance but they struggled to break down a defensive Luxemborug in the first 45 minutes. N'Golo Kante could even have seen red for a wild challenge on Vincent Thill.
In the second half, France pushed without much luck, and Gerson Rodrigues almost won it for Luxembourg when he crashed a late chance against the post on a rare foray for the away side, and Jonathan Joubert repelled the best France could come up with.

France move top of the group despite the embarrassment, and a win against Bulgaria and then Belarus would see them qualify.


Should N'Golo Kante have seen red? Treading on Thill with his studs up, on his shin, could have caused a broken bone. France probably would have remained in control of possession, but in a match with more needle, Kante would probably have seen red for such a reckless challenge.

Jonathan Joubert (Luxembourg): A succession of smart stops kept Luxembourg in the match for a famous and unlikely point, but there should be no exaggeration about the 'keeper's performance. This was a team success that was built on defensive organisation, determination and a willingness to attack where possible.


France: Lloris 6, Kurzawa 5, Sidibe 5, Umtiti 6, Koscielny 5, Pogba 6, Kante 5, Lemar 7, Mbappe 7, Griezmann 6, Giroud 5. Subs: Lacazette 6, Coman 6, Fekir 6.

Luxembourg: Joubert 8, Janisch 6, Jans 6, Malget 6, Philipps 7, Skenderovic 6, Martins 6, V. Thill 7, Da Mota 6, S. Thill 6, Turpel 6. Subs: Sinani 6, Fernandes 7, Holter 6.


37' - POGBA SHOT - Lemar has a shot blocked on the edge of the box. Giroud flicks it to Pogba on the edge of the box, and he fires in a low shot that Joubert tips around the post.

40' - GRIEZMANN FREE KICK - Griezmann thunders a free kick over the wall, it dips late, and crashes against the cross bar, Joubert getting fingertips to it.

42' - KANTE FOUL - Kante catches Vincent Thill, standing on his shin. He could - probably should - have been sent off, but the referee appears to let things go given the calm nature of the game.

58' - GRIEZMANN SHOT - Sidibe picks out a cross to Griezmann at the near post and he lifts his effort way over the bar.

77' - POGBA HEADER - Lacazette drags a shot at goal from an angle, and it's deflected wide by Philipps. From the ensuing corner, Pogba gets to the second ball and sends a looping header crashing against the bar.

79' -RODRIGUES CHANCE - Rodrigues goes on a brilliant run down the middle, and with just Lloris to beat, he sends his shot against the post - what an escape for France.


Luxembourg's squad had only had transfer fees paid twice for their squad members, while France's squad had cost £400m in transfer fees.

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