An end to end affair in the first half coupled by a goal from Kylian Mbappe was cancelled out by a Ryan Babel strike before Olivier Giroud broke his international duck with the winner.
It was an extremely useful exercise for the Netherlands in that they got the chance to finally see how far they have to go to to return to the heights they once reached as a football nation and resurrect their glory days. In a game against a side that are as well-drilled and confident as anyone in world football at the moment, the Netherlands came up short but they seemed happy with the result.
It did not help that France have the most exciting young footballer in world football right now to make every attack a potential goalscoring opportunity no matter how little the chances are. Kylian Mbappé was electric on a number of occasions but while they promised a lot, they rarely troubled Jasper Cillessen in the opening half.
The game threatened to explode on a number of occasions but that was due more to individual brilliance than either of the sides’ managers tactics. Whenever Netherlands got close, and they levelled in the second half, France moved up a gear and kept the visitors at bay.
The young super star, Mbappe scored the opener after 14 minutes when a Blaise Matuidi cross made its way to him at the back post after Olivier Giroud was tripped thus ending his hopes of a handy finish.
France really looked dangerous and threatening at times for the remainder of the first half but their bark was worse than their bite in front of goal. Netherlands, on the other hand, never displayed either and had no focal point in attack blended with a wobbly and terrible defence.
They eventually put the pressure on and scored the equaliser in the second half through a red-headed Ryan Babel, a goal they deserved given their improved performance in the second 45. The ball from the right off the boot of Tete landed on his knee and he finished after 67 minutes.
Olivier Giroud, who had gone 807 minutes without a goal drove home from a Benjamin Mendy cross just eight minutes later to put the home side ahead again. Questions will be asked of Cillessen’s goalkeeping, but not by Giroud. He was too busy breathing a sigh of relief after his recent goalles spell.
Image Source: Eurosport