An Olivier Giroud penalty was enough for World Cup winners France to get back to winning ways at home to Uruguay on Tuesday evening.
The two teams clashed at the Stade de France, with the Chelsea striker netting from the spot in the 52nd minute to condemn Oscar Tavarez’s troops to their fourth consecutive loss.
Les Bleus spurn early chances
The hosts should have been ahead early on as Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud missed a glaring chance. Blaise Matuidi did really well to find the frontman with a raking ball but he could not convert from inside the box. Kylian Mbappe, who has been in excellent form so far this season, was then the next to be guilty of missing a great opportunity. He was exquisitely played through by Antoine Griezmann but somehow chipped wide of the post.
The chances continued to come and go for the hosts as Matuidi latched onto Griezmann’s free-kick but saw his effort deflected wide.
Mbappe injury big blow to hosts
Mbappe then had another chance as he tried to go around the Uruguayan goalkeeper but landed awkwardly. The ball fell to Benjamin Pavard but he could only send the ball high over the bar. Mbappe had to be withdrawn following that and was replaced by Florian Thauvin.
The injury to the Paris Saint Germain superstar took the sting out of the game somewhat and despite France edging the chances throughout the first-half, the two teams went into the break level.
Giroud penalty opens scoring
With all of their missed chances during the first-period, Didier Deschamps’ men did not pass up the next opportunity which came from the penalty spot. Martin Caceres stuck out a hand and blocked a goal-bound Griezmann effort, leaving the referee with no choice. Giroud stepped up and gleefully tucked the ball home to claim the lead.
Uruguay really struggled to get a foothold in the game following the goal but really should have equalised with only ten minutes left. Jonathan Rodriguez latched onto an excellent pass from Edinson Cavani but could only volley a weak effort straight at Hugo Lloris in the France goal.
They were not quite able to get back into the game as Giroud’s penalty was enough for France to earn the victory.
It was not a thriller this one. The match itself was a tight one but France were probably the deserved winners. Les Bleus offered far more in an offensive sense and could have netted more should they not wasted the many chances they created in the first-half.
Uruguay, meanwhile, are now stuck in a rut. They were passive throughout the whole game and were lucky to get away with just a one-goal deficit.
France: Lloris (6); Mendy (6), Sakho (6) (Kimpembe (7), 45′), Rami (6), Pavard (6); NDombele (7) (Fekir (6), 70′), Kante (7), Matuidi (7) (N’Zonzi (6), 62′); Mbappe (6) (Thauvin (6), 36′), Griezmann (7) (Sissoko (N/A), 90+3′), Giroud (7) (Plea (N/A), 80′).
Uruguay: Campana (6); Laxalt (6), Caceres (5), Mendez (5), M. Suarez (6); Valverde (6) (De Arrascaeta (6), 60′), Vecino (6), Bentancur (5), Torreira (6) (Rodriguez (6), 74′); L. Suarez (5), Cavani (6).
Goals: Giroud PEN (52′)
Yellow Cards: Bentancur (79′), Mendez (82′), Griezmann (90+2′)
Red Cards: N/A
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