International Friendlies Round-up: Olvier Giroud scores twice to become France’s second top scorer; Other results
France 7:1 Ukraine
Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud netted a double on his 100th cap for France to become the second top scorer taking his international tally to 42 goals, as the world champions thumped Ukraine 7-1 in a friendly match that took place in a near-empty Stade de France.
Giroud celebrated his 100th cap with two second-half goals to move within nine goals of Thierry Henry’s French scoring record.
The Chelsea striker leapfrogged Michel Platini, who scored 41 goals from 72 games between 1976-87.
Watch how Giroud has given his contribution in 100 Games for the France national side
Eduardo Camavinga became the youngest France scorer since 1914 at 17 years old when he also scored against the injury and COVID-19 ravaged Ukraine side.
The other goals were scored by Vitaliy Mykolenko (own goal), Corentin Tolisso, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann, while Ukraine got a consolation through Viktor Tsygankov.
Camavinga scored a clever overhead kick to put France ahead on nine minutes after Giroud’s header had been parried by Heorhiy Bushchan.
Bushchan was the only active ‘keeper on the Ukraine team sheet, although assistant coach Oleksandr Shovkovsky, retired since 2016, was included in the squad to make up for the absence of their other two ‘keepers who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Giroud, however, doubled France’s tally with a splendid curled shot into the top corner from 20-metre in the 24th minute and scored yet again nine minutes later with a header before Mykolenko headed a Houssem Aouar cross into his own net six minutes before the break.
Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko had to improvise with six injuries and eight COVID-19 cases in his expected squad, but the visitors managed to pull one back in the 52nd minute thanks to a long-range strike from Tsygankov.
Tolisso added a fifth for Les Bleus and Mbappe scored the sixth at the end of a dazzling run eight minutes from full-time.
Griezmann, who was introduced as a second-half substitute, fired home in the 89th to complete the 7-1 bashing.
France will face Portugal next in a Nations League Group 3 clash on Sunday as Ukraine take on Germany in a Group 4 game.
Portugal 0-0 Spain: Joao Felix missed a clear cut opportunity
Portugal were unlucky to not have grabbed a winner in their 0-0 draw at home to Spain in a blockbuster international friendly after being denied by the crossbar twice and missing a last-gasp open goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who hit a hat-trick when the two sides met in a thrilling 2018 World Cup group stage game, almost gave the European champions the lead but his shot crashed against the underside of the bar early in the second half.
Renato Sanches went even closer moments later but also hit the bottom of the bar before running away to celebrate, only to see the ball bounce on the goal line without crossing it.
Portugal’s most glaring chance, however, fell to Joao Felix but he couldn’t convert as he met Ruben Semedo headed pass to him at the far post with the weakest of touches and somehow missed the target with the goal gaping in front of him.
Germany and Turkey play a 3-3 draw
Germany could not fend off Turkey as the visitors came back three times to earn a 3-3 draw in their friendly.
Midfielder Florian Neuhaus scored on his national team debut for the German side but it was Kenan Karaman who stole the show having slotted in a stoppage-time equaliser after Luca Waldschmidt fired in an 81st-minute volley that had put Germany 3-2 ahead. Julian Draxler put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time in front of 300 fans allowed in the stadium after Kai Havertz had put him through but the Turks equalised with Ozan Tufan’s curled effort five minutes after the restart.
The 23-year-old Neuhaus completed a lightning-quick one-two with Havertz to put Germany back ahead in the 58th.
But he was culpable for the Turks second equaliser after losing possession to Efecan Karaca who fired in from close range in the 67th minute before the late goals from Waldschmidt and Karaman.
The Germans will face Ukraine on Saturday and Switzerland three days later in the Nations League while Turkey play Russia on Sunday and Serbia next Wednesday in their Nations League matches.
Italy 6-0 Moldova: 33-year-old Caputo scores on debut
Francesco Caputo whose fine form got him a call up to the National team scored on his Italy debut at the age of 33 in a one-sided friendly against Moldova which ended 6-0 in favour of the Italians.
Stephan El Shaarawy scored a brace in the encounter while Bryan Cristante and Domenico Berardiwere also on target to nick their first Italy goals and Veaceslav Posmac put through his own goal to complete a dreadful night for the visitors.
Italy fielded an experimental line-up, with Caputo becoming their second oldest-ever debutant, but Roberto Mancini’s side was still far too good for the visitors as they extended their unbeaten run to 17 games.
Netherlands 0-1 Mexico: Raul Jimenez puts the Dutch team to the sword
Raul Jimenez scored the only goal, which was enough to hand new Netherlands coach, Frank de Boer, a defeat in his first game in charge in a friendly against Mexico.
The Wolves forward made up for several first-half missed chances as he tucked away a penalty on the hour mark after Nathan Ake had pulled him back in the area.
The Mexican side deservedly scored after they set up numerous chances in the contest as opposed to a pedestrian display from the Dutch.
Jimenez and Jesus Corona missed chances upon chances before the break while the only shot from the home team came from Ryan Babel who fired wide after Memphis Depay had put him clean on goal.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul, playing his first international in five years, denied Corona in the 55th minute from close range in a key stop but stood no chance during the spot-kick which Jimenez slotted home.
The goal, however, seemed to have momentarily woken up the Dutch team but it was Corona who came closest in the 75th-minute but Krul once again was up to the task.
Luuk de Jong and Depay missed out on a last-gasp chance for an equaliser with De Jong’s initial header saved and Depay’s follow-up crashing back into play off the crossbar.
Wednesday, 8 October 2020 friendly results
- Cyprus 1-2 Czech Republic
- Denmark 4-0 Faroe Islands
- Malta 2-0 Gibraltar
- Montenegro 1-1 Latvia
- Luxembourg 1-2 Liechtenstein
- Austria 2-1 Greece
- Andorra 1-2 Cape Verde
- Germany 3-3 Turkey
- Italy 6-0 Moldova
- Netherlands 0-1 Mexico
- Poland 5-1 Finland
- Portugal 0-0 Spain
- Slovenia 4-0 San Marino
- Switzerland 1-2 Croatia
- France 7-1 Ukraine