France prepare for Euro 2020 qualifiers with victory over Bolivia

Posted Monday, June 03, 2019 by PA

France prepare for Euro 2020 qualifiers with victory over Bolivia

France limbered up for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Turkey and Andorra with a 2-0 friendly win over Bolivia.

First-half goals from Thomas Lemar and Antoine Griezmann gave the world champions a routine victory at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes.

But an injury suffered by Kylian Mbappe, a week before the trip to Turkey, took some of the shine off the win.

The Paris St Germain forward had to go off at half-time with an ankle problem.

The hosts took a fifth-minute lead when Griezmann found Lemar on the left-hand side of the penalty area and the Atletico Madrid winger took a touch before lifting the ball over advancing Bolivia keeper Carlos Lampe.

It was Lemar’s fourth goal for France, all of which have come on home turf with his left foot.

Samuel Umtiti thought he had doubled his side’s lead when he beat Lampe with a header at a corner but Raul Castro made a goal-line clearance.

Lampe did manage to keep out Florian Thauvin’s effort, before Thauvin arrived at the far post to meet Mbappe’s cross only to slip and steer the ball wide.

It was predictably one-way traffic in the first half and Lampe did well to cling on to Mbappe’s driven cross, with Griezmann waiting to pounce.

Lampe did even better to claw away a Griezmann header from Lucas Digne’s cross, colliding with the near post as he did so.

Lampe could not hold out until half-time, though, as Griezmann struck in the 43rd minute.

Lemar’s neat touch kept his own cleared corner in play on the byline and when Bolivia failed to deal with his second cross, Griezmann spun onto the loose ball and drilled it home.

After the break Mbappe’s replacement, Wissam Ben Yedder, latched onto a Paul Pogba header but Lampe saved well with his feet.

Bolivia fashioned the odd chance too, with Leonel Justiniano forcing France keeper Alphonse Areola into a save low to his left from a free-kick and then heading Alejandro Chumacero’s cross wide.

Thauvin was twice denied by Lampe, who also blocked from sub Kingsley Coman as France had to settle for two goals.


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