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The French national team defeated its Dutch counterpart, by four, during the 2024 European Football Championship qualifiers


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France’s new captain Kylian Mbappe lived up to expectations by scoring twice in a 4-0 win over the Netherlands in a solid start for the Blues in the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers Friday, March 24, 2023.

Mbappe, who took over the armband after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris retired internationally in January, set up Antoine Griezmann’s first goal before scoring the third.

Dayo Upamecano doubled the lead in a superb first half before Mbappe rounded off the quad late in the game amidst crowd euphoria.

Despite the international retirement of influential players such as Lloris and defender Raphael Varane, France dazzled everyone in its first match since losing the World Cup final to Argentina last December, crushing the Netherlands, affected by a virus outbreak in its squad, led by new coach Ronald Koeman.

The defeat was a shock to Koeman in his first appearance in his second period since succeeding Louis van Gaal after reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, and Koeman previously trained his country between 2018 and 2020.

France leads Group Two, ahead of Greece, which defeated Gibraltar 3-0 away from home. Coach Didier Deschamps’ team meets Ireland in Dublin on Monday, while the Netherlands plays at home against Gibraltar.

Bad start

The start of the Netherlands, which missed five players due to infection, was poor, as France managed to find the net after only two minutes when Griezmann finished a wonderful move to convert Mbappe’s pass into the net from inside the penalty area.

The Netherlands defense failed to deal with a side free kick from Griezmann and Upamecano fired home with ease in the eighth minute.

Mbappe turned the score to 3-0 with a close-range touch after Aurelien Tchoameni’s pass.

The Netherlands threatened the hosts’ goal for a short time after the break, but Memphis Depay’s shot went wide and Koeman pushed striker Vout Figurst instead of midfielder Kenneth Taylor in the 33rd minute.

Mbappe manipulated the defense to deepen the visitors’ wounds with a powerful shot, scoring his 38th goal in 67 matches.

And the brilliance of France goalkeeper Mike Maignan, when saving Depay’s penalty kick in stoppage time, prompted the French fans to imagine the outcome of the World Cup final, which he missed due to injury, if he participated in the penalty shootout instead of Lloris.

Mbappe said, “A great match. We did not want to concede any goal, so everyone feels happy. Mike does not like to concede his net, and in his first major participation he came out with a clean sheet. We all support him.”

“We prepared ourselves saying we cannot disappoint our fans in the first game here after the World Cup,” he added.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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