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Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud on target as France beat Wales Featured

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Published in Football
Saturday, 11 November 2017 11:26

Goals by Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud earned France a comprehensive 2-0 home win against Wales in a friendly game at the Stade de France on Friday.

The duo found the back of the net either side of the interval as Les Bleus, who will take part in next year's World Cup finals, snatched a routine win.

Griezmann volleyed home just inside the box from Corentin Tolisso's superb cross in the 18th minute to put Didier Deschamps's team ahead.
It was the 10th time in his last 12 games for the national side that the Atletico Madrid forward was involved in a goal.

Wales, who missed out on a place at next year's tournament in Russia, were just content to defend.

In the second half, Kylian Mbappe's cross was met by Giroud, who beat Wayne Hennessey with a left-footed shot in the 71st minute to seal the win.

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  • Chris Coleman quits as Wales manager, agrees to take over at Sunderland

    The Welsh FA confirmed on Friday evening that Chris Coleman has resigned as the manager of the national team with immediate effect.

    Coleman, who became Wales manager in 2012, led his country to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, their first major tournament since 1958.

    However, he was unable to guide them to next year's World Cup as they missed out on qualification from Europe's Group D last month.
    Coleman is now expected to take over at Championship strugglers Sunderland according to various reports.

    The Black Cats have been without a manager since sacking Simon Grayson last month after one win in their opening 16 league matches left them bottom of the standings.

    Coleman, who became Wales manager in 2012, led his country to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, their first major tournament since 1958.

    However, he was unable to guide them to next year's World Cup as they missed out on qualification from Europe's Group D last month.

    The 47-year-old will return to club management having previously coached Fulham and Coventry City. He also had short spells abroad with Real Sociedad and AEL Athens.

    Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive of the Football Association of Wales, said: “We are extremely disappointed to see Chris’ tenure as Wales manager come to an end.

    “The FAW and Wales as a nation will be eternally grateful for the job he has done over the last six years as National Team Manager, from travelling the length and breadth of Wales outside of the media spotlight to talk to players and supporters, to guiding us to the semi-finals of the European Championships.

    “We wish Chris the very best of luck for the future as he returns to club management, a desire for which he has always been honest and open about.”

  • Germany's Lars Stindl rescues late draw against France

    Germany's Lars Stindl scored a last-gasp equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw against France in a friendly as the world champions stretched their unbeaten run to 21 matches.

    France twice led through Alexandre Lacazette, who netted either side of Timo Werner's leveller, and looked set to triumph as they had in Germany's last defeat in a Euro 2016 semi-final.

    But Stindl struck in stoppage time to rescue the hosts.

    Both teams having qualified for next year's World Cup in Russia and are considered among the title favourites.
    Germany coach Joachim Low was eager to test his squad and made six changes to the team that drew 0-0 against England at Wembley on Friday, including three in defence.

    But the hosts struggled under early French pressure, with the speedy Kylian Mbappe and Blaise Matuidi a constant threat.

    Lacazette, replacing injured forward Olivier Giroud, forced a good save from Germany keeper Kevin Trapp with a powerful shot but went one better in the 34th minute, tapping in from close range after superb work from Anthony Martial.
    The Germans woke up after the break and substitute Antonio Rudiger should have levelled when he was set up by Julian Draxler in the box.

    Instead it was Werner who grabbed the equaliser in the 56th minute with his seventh goal in his 10th international as he finished off a quick break launched by Mesut Ozil.

    Toni Kross then hit the bar in the 70th as the Germans looked to be in complete control before another quick French break earned the hosts their second goal.

    Martial should have added a third late in the game but Trapp did well to deny him as the forward charged into the box before Stindl's added-time goal salvaged a draw.

    Elsewhere, Sergio Ramos scored two penalties as Spain played out an entertaining 3-3 draw against 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in St Petersburg to maintain their unbeaten record.

    Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku became his country's leading scorer at the age of 24 when his goal gave them a 1-0 win over fellow World Cup qualifiers Japan in a friendly.

    World Cup qualifiers Uruguay paid for wayward finishing as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Austria.

    Chris Coleman marked what could be his final game as Wales manager with a 1-1 draw against World Cup finalists Panama.

    Tom Lawrence's 75th-minute wonderful solo strike - his second Wales goal - looked like settling a hard-fought friendly in Cardiff, but the hosts were pegged back in the third minute of stoppage time when Armando Cooper rifled home.

  • Gareth Bale ruled out of Wales qualifiers

    Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Wales’ final two World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland with injury.

    Bale missed Real’s game over the weekend against Espanyol having picked up a calf injury against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

    Bale was named in the Wales squad but he has now been ruled out of the international break and will miss both qualifiers.
    The news come as a huge blow to Wales’ chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

    They travel to Georgia on Friday before facing Ireland in Cardiff three days later.

    Wales are currently second in Group D, one point ahead of Ireland and four points behind Serbia.

  • Antoine Griezmann fires Atletico Madrid to win at new stadium

    Atletico Madrid celebrated the inauguration of their new stadium with a 1-0 win over Malaga, Antoine Griezmann's 60th-minute goal delighting the sell-out Wanda Metropolitano.

    At the Metropolitano, an opening ceremony involving parachutists and reminders of Atletico's history and previous homes, including the Vicente Calderon, gave way to a tight match.
    Bottom-of-the-table Malaga held their own but eventually Atletico's pressure told, with Angel Correa beating his man on the right and crossing for Griezmann to fire home from close range.

    The result moves Atleti up to third on eight points, behind Real Sociedad in second, with Barcelona top with four wins from win.
    Champions Real Madrid, who are lying 11th, travel to second-placed Real Sociedad on Sunday.

  • France held to embarrassing draw by lowly Luxembourg

    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.

    TALKING POINT

    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.
    MAN OF THE MATCH

    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.

    MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY
    PLAYER RATINGS

    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.

    KEY STATS

    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.

    KEY EVENT

    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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