World champion France is only slowly gaining momentum in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after a stuttering start. Four days after the disappointing 1: 1 against Ukraine, the team of coach Didier Deschamps prevailed 2: 0 (2: 0) against Kazakhstan in Nur-Sultan and, after a poor performance, took the lead in Group D for the time being.
Ex-Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele (19th) and Sergej Malij, who headed a corner from Antoine Griezmann into his own goal (44th), ensured a calming lead for the guests in the first half.
Young star Kylian Mbappe was only substituted on after almost an hour because Deschamps wanted to bring more speed into the very static French game.
The 22-year-old won a penalty, but failed to goalkeeper Alexander Mokin (75th), who prevented the defending champion from a higher victory with several strong saves.