Griezmann, Lemar on target as France warms up for Euro qualifiers

Getty Images
0 Comments

Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Lemar found the back of the net as France topped Bolivia 2-0 in a pre-UEFA qualification friendly in Nantes.

Didier Deschamps put forth a strong starting lineup that included both first-choice central defenders Samuel Umtiti and Raphael Varane that held Bolivia to just one shot on target. Also in the mix from the opening whistle were Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, and Benjamin Pavard. Mbappe came off at halftime,

Lemar was first to strike, just five minutes in as France caught the visitors with an extremely high defensive line. Griezmann broke down the middle and switched play to Lemar on the left who was left unmarked. The ball wasn’t settled properly and bobbled, but Lemar was able to get a highly skillful looping shot off that chipped both a tracking defender and the charging Bolivian goalkeeper Carlos Lampe.

Just before halftime, France doubled the lead with a messy goal off a corner that Bolivia failed to clear and Griezmann pounced on the edge of the six-yard box to poke the ball home.

France racked up 18 shots with 10 on target, holding 66% possession in a dominating performance that saw the hosts hold 70% of the ball in the second half, although the final 45 minutes were punctuated by constant substitutions, often a case in warm-up friendlies. Kingsley Coman was especially dangerous during his 24 minutes off the bench, on to replace Lemar.

Players to come off the bench for France included Coman, Blaise Matuidi, and Wissam Ben Yedder while Olivier Giroud, N'Golo Kante, and Clement Lenglet were left unused on the bench.