France snatched a friendly win over the Ivory Coast in Marseille as Aurelien Tchouameni’s late header saw them run out 2-1 victors on Friday night.
The two teams are playing friendlies this month, with Les Bleus having qualified for the World Cup later this year, while Les Elephants failed to make it past CAF’s second qualifying round.
The hosts were sluggish in the opening exchanges and fell behind when Nicolas Pepe got free on the right and fired in beyond Hugo Lloris.
That lead didn’t last long, however, as Olivier Giroud got up highest to nod in Theo Hernandez’s floated cross.
France had the opportunities to win the game, with Antoine Griezmann somehow seeing an effort saved by Badra Ali Sangare from close range.
While Didier Deschamps’ side were far from their best for the majority of the 90 minutes, they did manage to nick the victory in injury time when Tchouameni got up highest to nod in substitute Matteo Guendouzi’s corner for his first ever France goal.
Here are your France ratings from the game.
Hugo Lloris (GK) – 6/10 – Probably could have done better for Pepe’s goal. Did well to swat away some tricky crosses.
Jules Kounde (CB) – 5/10 – Made a couple of fouls and wasn’t totally convincing – must still have had that West Ham game in the back of his head.
Raphael Varane (CB) – 5/10 – Won one of his two attempted tackles before being subbed off for William Saliba.
Lucas Hernandez (CB) – 5/10 – Beaten too easily by Pepe’s trickery for the first goal, being left for dead by a quick step-over.
Kingsley Coman (RWB) – 8/10 – Been brilliant for Bayern Munich recently and was a big threat here, consistently finding space on the right and putting dangerous crosses into the middle.
Aurelien Tchouameni (CM) – 9/10 – Very enjoyable to watch, especially during the first half. Recovered the ball well and linked nicely with his midfield partners before scoring the winner in injury time.
Paul Pogba (CM) – 7/10 – Played some really lovely passes and linked well with Tchouameni. Bought a few fouls and did give the ball away a little sloppily, but was still good to watch.
Theo Hernandez (LWB) – 7/10 – Got the assist for Giroud’s equaliser but Ivory Coast had already exploited the acres of space he was leaving behind with his rampaging runs upfield. Got the balance better as the game went on and was a big threat.
Antoine Griezmann (AM) – 7/10 – Drew level with coach Didier Deschamps, on 103 international caps. Made four key passes and connected play well but really should have put France ahead from point-blank range.
Olivier Giroud (ST) – 7/10 – Scored a trademark Giroud goal to equalise. Is now only three strikes behind Thierry Henry in France’s all-time scoring chart.
Christopher Nkunku (ST) – 5/10 – Has had a ridiculous season in the Bundesliga but couldn’t assert himself on the game here. A quiet performance. Headed a decent chance over the bar.
William Saliba (CB) – 7/10 – The Marseille defender – on loan from Arsenal – came on for his senior debut with France.
Matteo Guendouzi (CM) – 7/10 – Swung in the corner that Tchouameni headed in for the winner.
Wissam Ben Yedder (ST) – 6/10
Jonathan Clauss (RWB) – N/A
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – N/A