Euro hopes: Bleuets revive by dominating Russia

Jonathan Ikoné
Three days after its initial defeat in these group stages of Euro hopes 2021 against Denmark (1-0), the Bleuets corrected the sights on Sunday March 28 against Russia (2-0). Without being brilliant, the France team benefited from two penalties transformed by Odsonne Edouard (15th) and Jonathan Ikoné (24th). She is now second in her group.

A few hours after Denmark’s second victory in as many matches (2-0 against Iceland), the France team approached this second day of Euro hopes against Russia under pressure. The victory was almost imperative under penalty of not having its fate in hand in the event of a draw. The defeat, it was prohibited this Sunday March 28 on the lawn of Szombathely (Hungary) because synonymous with early elimination. It did not happen and the Bleuets, without being brilliant, revived by dominating the Russians (2-0) thanks to two penalties, after their inaugural defeat.

France did not have a lot of opportunities but at least it had the merit of being realistic, opportunist. She opened the scoring on a penalty caused and transformed (15th) by Odsonne Edouard for his 16th goal in only 11 selections in hopes. Less than ten minutes later, the Celtic Glasgow striker intelligently let Amine Gouiri pass a Jonathan Ikoné cross from the right. The Niçois saw his strike countered by the hand of the unfortunate Pavel Maslov, already at fault on the first penalty. Jonathan Ikoné doubled the bet on a skilful panenka (24th).

Without being flamboyant, therefore, the French still showed a very different face from that seen here Thursday, March 25 against Denmark. With five changes in the starting lineup, Sylvain Ripoll had sent a strong message to his group even before kickoff. For example, he completely changed his midfield. Exit Boubacar Kamara, Matteo Guendouzi and Eduardo Camavinga for the benefit of Aurélien Tchouaméni, Boubakary Soumaré and Jonathan Ikoné, particularly at ease in this role of number ten. It is above all in the state of mind and aggressiveness, especially without a ball, that the Bleuets reassured of their ambitions in this Euro hopes of which they are among the favorites.

But we must not forget that the meeting could have taken a completely different turn from the first minutes, when the score was still blank. Alban Lafont, involved in the goal conceded against Denmark, interposed face-to-face in front of Arsen Zakharian (4th) following a loss of ball by Boubakary Soumaré and a slip by Jules Koundé. This same Arsen Zakharian again alerted the Nantes goalkeeper of the powerful floating strike from 30 meters (36th), without consequence.

Proof of a team not yet completely calm, the Bleuets have suffered somewhat, at times, the Russian assaults in the second half like the strike next to Fedor Chalov (76th). Amine Gouiri with a pivot strike (57th) or Odsonne Edouard in power (71st), for their part, lacked the final break.

Failing to impress, the France team however reassured after its inaugural defeat. It will now be necessary to materialize against Iceland, Wednesday March 31, to obtain the qualification and thus make an appointment for the final stages, organized from May 31 to June 6, 2021. The promises of this high potential group are still pending but the three points are at least pocketed this Sunday evening in order to take second place in group C. It is at least the essential.

Leave a Reply