France 1-1 Ukraine: Disappointment for Didier Deschamps’ World Cup champion in first qualifying match for Qatar 2022 when Presnel Kimpembe’s own goal nullifies Antoine Griezmann’s strike
- Antoine Griezmann equaled David Trezeguet’s goal record of 34 for France
- The Barcelona forward scored a blast from the edge of the penalty area to make it 1-0
- France failed to build the lead and had to pay early in the second half
- PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe clumsily turned in his own net to settle at 1-1
France started their World Cup qualifying campaign in an unconvincing fashion when they were held against a 1-1 draw at home by Ukraine on Wednesday.
Antoine Griezmann put the world champion in the first half with a brilliant goal, only for defender Presnel Kimpembe who gave the visitors a point with an own goal after the break.
The result kept Didier Deschamps’ side and Ukraine level with Finland and Bosnia in Group D after drawing 2-2 in the other game. Les Bleus then plays against Kazakhstan and Bosnia on Sunday and Wednesday.
Ukraine took an unlikely point from France to kick-start their 2022 World Cup qualifying run
Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe threw the ball painfully into his own goal
They were joyous celebrations for Ukraine and they managed to stick to their first point
Antoine Griezmann (right) had previously put France ahead with a stunning 1-0 strike
France dominated possession and they continued after 19 minutes when Griezmann made a lovely shot into the far top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
It put Griezmann in joint fourth place with David Trezeguet in France’s all-time top scorers list with 34 goals. Thierry Henry is at the top with 51.
Giroud was close to doubling the advantage, but his header from Benjamin Pavard’s cross went just over the bar in the 32nd minute.
France is expected to dominate their group, but never managed to build on the first goal
Kylian Mbappé drew extra attention and had a frustrating evening by his standards
However, Ukraine struck back when Sergiy Sydorchuk’s innocent attempt was deflected into his own goal by Kimpembe 12 minutes into the second half.
Deschamps made two changes and sent Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembélé in for Giroud and Kingsley Coman.
Pogba brought steel to midfield, but Andriy Shevchenko’s side were happy to sit back and wait.
Kylian Mbappé, who produced a forgettable left flank of the attack, was replaced by Anthony Martial, who failed to make any impact.
Griezmann got the chance to give France one last victory, but his curly effort was ticked off by Heorhiy Bushchan eight minutes before time.
Kimpembe got the chance to make up for his own goal in the last minute, but headed the ball straight into Bushchan’s arms.
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud (center) was left with his head in his hands on an awkward evening
For the next matches, there is work to be done for France boss Didier Deschamps (center)