Giroud ends drought in France's win over Netherlands in UEFA Nations League

2018-09-10 03:20:39 GMT2018-09-10 11:20:39(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Striker Olivier Giroud put an end to his international scoring drought as world champions France beat the Netherlands 2-1 in League A match of the inaugural UEFA Nations League here on Sunday.

In their first home match after the triumphant World Cup tour in Russia, France went ahead through teenager sensation Kylian Mbappe's early goal, and sealed their victory thanks to Giroud following Dutch player Ryan Babel's effort.

Mbappe, named the best young player of the World Cup, almost broke the deadlock in less than one minute into the match, only to see his shot saved by Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, but still found a way to score as he comfortably turned Blaise Matuidi's cross into the net.

Netherlands, desperate to bounce back from the 2016 Euro and this year's World Cup absence, came back into the duel with Babel converting Kenny Tete's delivery in the second half.

However, Giroud, scoreless for the past ten international matches, earned France a deserved victory by sweeping Benjamin Mendy's cross with 15 minutes from time.

The hard-fought victory gave France every reason to celebrate their magical journey at the World Cup in front of almost 80,000 fans at the Stade de France.

They currently sit atop Group 1 of League A with one win and one draw, as the group winners in League A are entitled to strive for the tournament title through a four-team competition next June.

 

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