Olivier Giroud’s first France goal in 10 games sent the world champions top of a Nations League group that also features Germany. Kylian Mbappe had earlier opened the scoring for France, who deserved their 2-1 win.France 2-1 Netherlands
(Mbappe 14′ , Giroud 75′ – Babel 67′)
Giroud’s sweetly-struck volley 15 minutes from time ended his scoring drought and the Netherlands’ hopes of a point in their first Nations League contest.
France, who drew 0-0 with Germany in their opener, were playing at home for the first time since their World Cup win in Russia and the celebrations both before and after the game were long and rousing.
The World Cup trophy was shown off as well, at the stadium where France first won it in 1998.
Mbappe, who enjoyed such a stunning tournament in Russia, opened the scoring early on, but veteran Dutch forward Ryan Babel equalized for the visitors with their only meaningful shot on target.
But Giroud’s moment of magic halted the undeserved comeback, wrapping his left leg around Virgil Van Dijk to score the game winning goal. As a result, France recorded a fifth successive victory over the Dutch.
“The victory was the most important thing, so we can have a great party,” coach Didier Deschamps told television station M6.
“I am really pleased for Olivier. Strikers can have periods like that where they are not as efficient, but he is useful in our build-up play, he scored a lovely goal, and on top of that it gave us the victory.”
The win puts France top of the Group 1 table in League A. They host Germany in Parc de Prince in October.
mp/dv (AFP, Reuters)