France beats Iceland and gets closer to qualifying

After a sluggish match, the Blues went to win in Iceland (1-0) and consolidate their place at the top of the group alongside the Turks.

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Antoine Griezmann explodes with joy after the match against Iceland on Friday 11 October. GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS

Mission accomplished for the Blues. Didier Deschamps's men beat Iceland 1-0 on Matchday 7 of the Euro-2020 qualifier on Friday evening, 11 October.

Faced with an Icelandic team back to the wall, the Blues have long struggled to be dangerous. Third in the group, three points behind the French and Turks before the game, the Icelanders knew that a defeat could be crucial in the fight for one of the two qualifying places.

So, the men of Erik Hamren first tried to defend well before thinking to counter. The Icelandic defensive block played low and very well slipped, leaving little space for Kingsley Coman to place lightning acceleration.

After a bland first half, where both teams were watching, it was Antoine Griezmann who changed the course of the match by causing a penalty 66e minute of play. In touch with Ari Skulason in the penalty area, the Barcelona player stayed on the floor for a long time and was unable to take the penalty kick. Olivier Giroud took this responsibility. The striker of the Blues has quietly deceived Hannes Halldorsson, left the wrong side.

A match for the qualification, Monday

Little worried during this meeting, the Blues could score again, including a final action after a mess in the Icelandic area. But Wissam Ben Yedder, although well placed at the penalty spot, missed the frame (94e).

With this victory, the Blues are six points ahead of Iceland (third) to three days of the end of the playoffs and are approaching a qualification for the finals. For Icelanders, the situation is complicated, since Turkey, co-leader of the group with the Blues, also won his match against Albania 1-0, with a goal scored in the 90e minute.

French and Turks remain ahead of Group H, before their clash Monday night at the Stade de France (20:45). In case of success of the French, the qualification will this time be sure and certain. The Blues had lost 2 to 0 in June in the first leg.


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