Euro 2024: France eliminates Belgium 1-0 and qualifies for the quarter-finals

Euro 2024: France eliminates Belgium 1-0 and qualifies for the quarter-finals
Euro 2024: France eliminates Belgium 1-0 and qualifies for the quarter-finals

Despite its domination, the French team, deprived of Mbappé, did not manage to get the upper hand over the Netherlands (0-0) on Friday evening in Leipzig.

These two big names in European football have met regularly in recent years, whether in friendlies, in qualifying for the World Cup and the Euro, or in the Nations League. They had always given us at least one goal in each match. But on Friday evening, for their reunion at the Euro, 16 years after the Blues’ heavy defeat against the Dutch (4-1) in 2008, no goalkeeper had to go and get the ball out of their net. France and the Netherlands finished with a goalless draw of 0-0, the first of this Euro 2024.

In the 69th minute, the Dutch thought they had opened the scoring against the run of play through Xavi Simons, but the goal was logically disallowed for an offside by Denzel Dumfries who had interfered with the play near Mike Maignan. The match, which had started well, became less interesting in the second half. The Blues, in white for the occasion, dominated with 63% possession, but failed to convert their opportunities.

Antoine Griezmann, positioned in attack alongside Marcus Thuram, was the most dangerous for France. In the 4th minute, he forced Bart Verbruggen into a save after a left-footed shot. In the 65th minute, Griezmann found himself in an excellent position after a service from Kanté, but was again stopped by the Dutch goalkeeper. Captain in the absence of Kylian Mbappé, Griezmann also missed several opportunities, notably in the 14th minute and with a header in the 43rd minute.

Despite the efforts of Thuram, Kanté, Rabiot, Tchouaméni and Dembélé, the Blues’ attempts did not find the target. The entries of Olivier Giroud and Kingsley Coman in the last quarter of an hour did not allow the situation to be unblocked.

Without a great Mike Maignan, the Blues could have lost. In the first minute, the AC Milan goalkeeper pushed back an attempt by Jeremie Frimpong. He then stopped a shot by Cody Gakpo in the 16th minute and prevented Memphis Depay from scoring before Simons’ disallowed goal.

The Blues, although superior in play, must be content with a frustrating draw that does not yet qualify them for the round of 16. With 4 points after two games, like the Dutch, they will aim for first place in the group against Poland, now eliminated, on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Perhaps with the return of Mbappé on the field.

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