With the World Cup just around the corner, the future contenders are adjusting their guns/boots/studs for Russia by playing some friendlies, several of them of high quality. France vs Colombia was one of them, a very promising training for Les Bleus who had the advantage to play in their home of the Stade de France, but the gods of the game had another different scenario.
One may say that the 80.000 supporters( 20K Colombians from several European countries in very exuberant mood and fine voice) spent a nice evening watching some good football first by the French and then by the Colombians.
The final result shows very well the framework of the game and it’s not what the french fans were hoping; after twenty-five minutes or so of good football Didier Deschamps’ boys let go a two-nil game to bygones by returning to their old demons of arrogance, unable to find any solution to counter the Colombian on fire team and even harder to retrieve a bit of serenity, speed or just show that they were after all the hosts.
During the first half-hour the Colombians weren’t in the game; the French had all the possession they wanted and after scoring twice ( Giroud 11th Lemar 26th)the final result was all but acted. Abel Aguilar and Carlos Sanchez couldn’t touch the ball, Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez weren’t able to keep the ball long enough to keep Hugo Lloris busy and then…
It all started by a harmless situation near Lloris goal, Davinson Sanchez cleverly distracted the french captain and the ball went in sooo…easily ! This was their first and only incursion in the french half, but it paid handsomely ( Muriel 28th). The score could be the final one but Jose Pekerman‘s change of tactics;”when we understood the french way of play, we were able to change ours, ” said the Argentinian coach, after the game. Uribé was able to find and keep the ball, then stealing another one very nicely from Kanté’s feet for their second goal( Falcao 62nd). Afterwards, the Cafeteros were the masters of the game; they almost scored a third again by Muriel who profited of a sleepy Varane, but couldn’t pass past Lloris (56th). Pekerman added some freshness and what a good coaching that was ! Izquierdo won a penalty(shocking Umtiti) and Quintero drive it in, just two minutes after his entry on the pitch (85th). During the last minutes the Bleus woke up and tried to equalize but it was too late…
During the first thirty minutes Lemar was the Bleus’ best player and that’s why the Argentinian boss asked Aguilar and in the second half Lerma to stay near Monaco’s star player and fault him if necessary(36th 58th) Lemar was the french who touched the most of the ball(76) but what about Raphael Varane, Real Madrid’s star? His last game against Germany wasn’t one of his best, but versus Colombia was plain shocking! Should Deschamps play Konscielny eerrr…it’s not a joke even if….
Needless to add that Deschamps wasn’t very happy about his team ‘s performance; after the game he reunited all the players in the dressing room and put on the hairdryer full speed. “You must change your approach to the game; ” he said “no defensive team spirit and no revolt after Colombia’s equalizer.” Hugo Lloris the Bleus captain was in the same wavelengh:”Don’t start the same game in the second half like you did in the first after the goal” he asked his colleagues in the dressing room… “we must play more; have the right attitude and more energy on the pitch” Well, after forty five minutes he got his answer and the french supporters too.
Will they put a better performance against Russia at St Petersburg …who knows(?) Colombia will have a short trip to London to play vs Australia.
FRANCE : Lloris 4,5/10 Digne 5/10 Umtiti 4,5/10 Varane 4/10 Sidibé 4/10 Lemar 6,5/10 Matuidi 5/10 Kanté 6/10 MBappé 5,5/10 Giroud 5/10 Griezmann 5/10
COLOMBIA : Ospina 4,5/10 Arias 5/10 D. Sanchez 6/10 Mina 6/10 Fabra 4/10 C. Sanchez (motm) 7/10 Aguilar 5/10 Uribé 5,5/10 Rodriguez 7/10 Falcao 6/10 Muriel 7/10
Here’s the game’s highlights: