Monday, April 23, 2018

Netherlands 0-1 France: Pogba’s long-range howler proves a winning difference for Les Bleus

Milos Markovic in Editorial, World Cup 10 Oct 2016

Pogba scored a fantastic winner vs the Dutch / Image by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Pogba scored a fantastic winner vs the Dutch / Image by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

The Netherlands national team has suffered yet another disappointing result against respectable opposition and fellow World Cup visa contender France that will have placed additional pressure on the manager and the Football Association, despite a decent start to the qualifying cycle.

France have escaped with three points from Amsterdam courtesy of Paul Pogba’s fantastic winner and our match report is right here for your consideration:

Form Guide & Team Info

Oranje and France got off to a decent start to their 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign with only goal difference separating two sides ahead of their meeting in Amsterdam on Monday night.

Identical 4-1 victories over Belarus and Bulgaria, respectively, have been fine introductions to the high-profile match in extremely competitive Group A.

The hosts were given a huge blow with Wesley Sneijder being ruled out through a hamstring injury he picked up against Belarus, with Tony Vilhena as his replacement. In addition, Jens Toornstra and Michael Vorm were added to the squad after injuries to Luciano Narsingh and Jasper Cillessen.

Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna failed to recover in time after picking up an injury against Bulgaria, with Sidibe starting in his behalf. Didier Deschamps decided to deploy a tactical alteration to his squad pulling Antoine Griezmann a bit behind Kevin Gamerio, who was started as a lone striker against Oranje.

First Half

Didier Deschamps’ men had a better footing heading into the game at Amsterdam ArenA with visitors widely dominating the first half, particularly in the opening stages of the game.

It took France 13 minutes to get close to scoring with Kevin Gameiro picking an accurate pass on the edge of the box and unleashing a decent strike aim to the top right corner, but Dutch goalkeeper was spot on with his intervention.

France materialised their dominance at the half hour mark through Paul Pogba who latched on a Dimitri Payet’s sliding pass with a fabulous strike from long range. Manchester United midfielder sent the ball sailing into the left side of the goal and behind the surprised Stekelenburg.

Dutch team woke up after the goal and ended the first half by restoring balance in what have been evenly contested 45 minutes.

France were deserved leaders however as their dominance was best illustrated through five goal attempts to Netherland’s only one shot aimed towards the goal. Danny Blind team’s chances were seriously dented through additional selection issues with the standout man from the Belarus game Quincy Promes being forced off after only 15 minutes in the game through injury.

Second Half

The Netherlands’ team were surely given a feisty half time team talk as they have been a different team after the break with the second half of the game proving to be a much more contested affair.

It all started with France getting in a good position to double the lead through Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann who pounced on the rebound on the edge of the box, but could not quite get on the ball as he sent it flying over the crossbar.

Dutch replied through forced substitution Memphis Depay who received a brilliant pass and wasted a wonderful opportunity as his shot from inside the areal flew narrowly wide off the right post.

Red Devils outcast ended up having a distinctive performance as he proved up being one of the most agile players for the Netherlands.

Depay got in another great chance minutes sending a well-placed free kick straight into Lloris’ hands. The same player missed the greatest chance in the game minutes off the time as latched on a rebound and fired it towards France goal, but Lloris was well positioned to save his goal.

Closing stages of the match proved to be wildly contested with both sides well aware of what was at stake tonight.

France struggled to gain ground for most of the second term and their inability to close the game in time almost cost them three points against the late-bloomers Netherlands.

Statistical Overview

  • Evenly contested match ended up in 51% possession for Oranje and 49% for France
  • Les Bleus dominance highlighted through 14 goals attempts to hosts’ 9
  • France notched their third straight victory against the Netherlands
  • Dutch team has now failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 of last 13 matches
  • France have recorded their 12th win in last 15 games across all competitions

NETHERLANDS: Stekelenburg 7 – Karsdorp 6.5, Bruma 6.5, Van Dijk 6.5, Bind 7 – Strootman 7, Wijnaldum 6 (Dost 6.5) – Promes 6 (Depay 7), Propper 6.5 (Willems 6) – Janssen 6.5

Unused subs: Clasie, de Jong S., de Vrij S., Kongolo, Toornstra, Veltman, Vilhena, Zoet

FRANCE: Lloris 7.5 – Sidibe 7, Varane 7, Koscielny 7.5, Kurzawa 7 – Pogba 8, Matuidi 7 – Sissoko 7, Griezmann 6.5 (Kante -), Payet 7 (Martial 6) – Gameiro 6.5 (Gignac 6)

Unused subs: Areola, Cabaye, Coman, Corchia, Digne, Fekir, Kimpembe, Laporte, Mandanda

REFEREE: Damir Skomina

Other results this evening

Andorra 1-2 Switzerland

Belarus 1-1 Luxemburg

Bosnia &Herzegovina 2-0 Cyprus

Estonia 0-2 Greece

Faroe Islands 0-6 Portugal

Gibraltar 0-6 Belgium

Latvia 0-2 Hungary

Sweden 3-0 Bulgaria


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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