France snatch a draw in Austria, third game in a row without a win for the Blues

It was to be the rebound match, the one that would have made it possible not to doubt any longer. He finally saw the France team hang on Friday June 10 on the lawn of the Ernst-Happel stadium in Vienna, against Austria (1-1). After their setback against Denmark with their starting eleven, a draw in Croatia beneficial to young players for experience, it is a team made up of executives (Griezmann, Benzema, Lloris) and new internationals (Diaby, Saliba, Konaté) who leaves Austria with a point.

It could have been worse, because Kylian Mbappé, who entered the game in place of a very discreet Griezmann, equalized at the very end of the match (82nd) ​​and avoided a second defeat in three games, while we headed for an Austrian victory after the first-half goal from Andreas Weimann (37th). If the Blues may have achieved their most successful performance of the competition on Friday, they lacked realism against an Austrian selection which has long managed to hold on.

Probably pushed by a muscular speech from Didier Deschamps at half-time, the tricolors came back more insistent in the second period, after a rather serious first act, but without a goal. Kingsley Coman, very restless, missed the target when the goal seemed wide open to him (56th). But it was Mbappé’s appearance on the lawn that changed everything. Spared against Croatia after his knee problem against Denmark, the Paris Saint-Germain striker is the one who put France back on track, on a decisive pass from Christopher Nkunku, with a dry shot from the left foot under the cross-bar.

This same crossbar prevented Mbappé from completing the first victory for the Blues in this rally, a few minutes later (87th). Instantly, Patrick Pentz was once again decisive with a stoppage of the torso which sent the ball over the bar against the tricolor striker. The goalkeeper of Austria and local of the stage – he plays for Austria Vienna – has also released the match of his life, a true masterpiece.

It was he who also intervened in front of Mattéo Guendouzi on the last corner of the game (90 + 1st), he who returned the long shot from Benjamin Pavard (55th) and attempts by Karim Benzema (17th, 32nd, 43rd). His last ball in the area capsized with happiness the 48,500 supporters present Friday evening at the Ernst-Happel stadium, who celebrated this draw against the reigning world champions as a victory at the final whistle.

For its part, Austria only needed one chance. In this month of June, it is as if realism was fleeing the Blues and had chosen to accompany its opponents. Ralf Rangnick’s selection did not play football as enticing as expected, but they were able to take advantage of a loss of French ball in midfield, a good cross from Konrad Laimer and a good William Saliba. too late to prevent Andreas Weimann from scoring before the break.

In the end, the passage in a few days from the stifling heat of Split to the grayness of Vienna did not seem to hurt the Blues. But the latter have a third match without a win, a first since Euro 2021. The France team avoided taking a waltz but it does not remove certain doubts, while Deschamps chose for the second time in a row to abandon its system of three defenders to return to four behind.

Present this evening in Vienna, the president of the FFF, Noël Le Graët, had summoned his players to do everything to retain their title in this League of Nations, at the start of the rally at Clairefontaine. Last in group 1, France find themselves in a bad position even if the defeat of Denmark against Croatia (0-1) at the same time makes everything possible in this group.

But it is more of the World Cup that Deschamps and his players must already be thinking about. There are only four months and three games left before the start of the World Cup to regain the taste of victory. The last meeting of this gathering against CroatiaMonday at the Stade de France, will be of decisive importance before the start of the holidays.


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