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Tamed France Held By Poland In Group Finale

  • June 25, 2024
  • 2 min read
Tamed France Held By Poland In Group Finale

In a match with little bearing on qualification, France drew 1-1 with a spirited Poland side at Signal Iduna Park.

While Les Bleus extended their unbeaten run in the group stages since 2012, their frustrating habit of failing to win their final group game in major tournaments since 2006 continued.

Poland, already eliminated, aimed for a consolation win. France, already qualified, sought to finish top and score their first goal from open play in the tournament. Historically dominant against Poland (winning nine of their last 17 meetings), France were boosted by Kylian Mbappé’s return.

Poland started defensively, nearly scoring through Piotr Zieliński’s early shot. France responded with chances for Ousmane Dembélé and N’Golo Kanté, but Mbappé, sporting a protective mask, remained scoreless. Poland also threatened, with Robert Lewandowski narrowly missing a header. Both teams went into halftime scoreless despite Mbappé’s close calls saved by Łukasz Skorupski.

The second half mirrored the first. France dominated possession, finally breaking the deadlock through a Mbappé penalty in the 53rd minute after Dembélé was fouled. Itwas Mbappe, who became the second teenager to score in the FIFA World Cup final in 2018 triumph, this was his first goal in the Euros. Determined to salvage pride, Poland introduced fresh legs and earned a penalty themselves. Lewandowski converted the rebound after Maignan initially saved his first attempt, ensuring a share of the spoils.

France progress to the knockout stages unbeaten but needing sharper attacking form to fulfill their potential if their coach Didier Deschamps wants to make his history to be only person to win the Euros and the World Cup both as a player and as a coach.

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Nkanyiso Mchunu

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