Goals galore for France as Russia are swept aside

Goals galore for France as Russia are swept aside


France bristled with goalscoring threat just 10 weeks before they host Euro 2016 as they beat Russia 4-2 in a friendly international on Tuesday In the first football match at the Stade de France since last November’s deadly Paris attacks, Les Bleus played some attractive football and scored through N’Golo Kante, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Dimitri Payet and Kingsley Coman.Seven players have now scored in two games after Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi were on target in the 3-2 win against the Netherlands four days earlier.Alexander Kokorin and Yuri Zhirkov reduced the arrears for Russia, making the most of France’s lapses in concentration on a rainy night in the capital.Security was tight in and around the Stade de France following the attacks in Paris by militant Islamists on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people.

The crowd observed a minute’s silence before kick-off in memory of the victims of last week’s bombings in Brussels.France coach Didier Deschamps made six changes to the team that beat the Netherlands, and the former captain appears happy with his options for the June 10-July 10 European Championship.”There were a lot of great things tonight, the players combined well and played fast,” Deschamps told a news conference after the team’s seventh win in their last eight games.”However let’s not get carried away. It was just two games.”France were without Karim Benzema, provisionally suspended because he is under investigation for alleged blackmail over a sex video, but they did not miss him.Leicester City’s Kante, celebrating his 25th birthday, marked his first start with his first international goal in the eighth minute — a low shot from inside the box after being played through by Griezmann.Russia were physical but Gignac doubled the tally by heading home Griezmann’s corner seven minutes before the interval.France suffered a minor glitch when full back Jeremy Mathieu, who had come on for Patrice Evra at halftime, limped off with a leg injury and was replaced by Lucas Digne.Digne was caught cold by Kokorin, who beat him to the ball to latch on to Alan Dzagoev’s free kick in the 56th minute.
West Ham United’s Payet restored the two-goal lead on his 29th birthday with a superb 30-metre free kick into the top corner in the 64th minute, two minutes after coming on for Griezmann.Russia hit back again when Zhirkov slotted home from Oleg Shatov’s pass but second-half substitute Coman made it 4-2 with 14 minutes left with a fine shot on the turn.bdnews24.com


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