France downs Wales 2-0 in football friendly, Griezmann, Giroud on target

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PARIS, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud combined to earn France a 2-0 home victory over Wales in an international football friendly at Stade de France here on Friday.

Griezmann broke the deadlock 18 minutes into the match, as he was on position to sweep Corentin Tolisso’s stitching pass into the net. Eight minutes earlier, teenager sensation Kylian Mbappe tested Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who blocked the Frenchman’s shot onto the crossbar.

Griezmann was set to gain huge confidence from this goal following his scoring drought in the past six matches for La Liga side Atletico Madrid.

Building a one-goal lead into the second half, Les Bleus extended their advantage with less than 20 minutes remaining. Giroud collected Mbappe’s pass, before adjusting for a low shot inside the post.

France secured the ticket to 2018 FIFA World Cup after finishing atop Group A in European qualifiers, while 2016 Euro semi-finalists Wales bid farewell to the tournament with a third finish in Group D.

France head coach Didier Deschamps took the friendlies as good opportunity for selecting the best 23-member side for the World Cup finals in Russia.

He handed newcomers Steven N’Zonzi and Benjamin Pavard their debut for the national squad.

Central defender Samuel Umtiti saw his powerful shot denied by the post in the 76th minute. Four minutes later, another shot from debutant Pavard also hit the post.

France will visit current world champions Germany in Cologne next Tuesday. It will be a repetition of last year’s Euro semi-final, where France won 2-0 on Griezmann’s brace.

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