2022 World Cup qualifiers: held in check by Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Blues miss their comeback

An evening to forget. For their first outing since their early elimination in the round of 16 of the Euro, the Blues received Bosnia and Herzegovina, Wednesday, September 1, as part of the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. But on the lawn of the Meinau stadium from Strasbourg, the French team stumbled. Without ideas despite the trio Benzema-Mbappé-Griezmann, and reduced to ten from the start of the second half, the Blues conceded a dull draw which, rather than chasing doubts, strengthens them (1-1).

Like the equalizing goal, everything was laborious this Wednesday night for the French. We then play the 38th minute, and it’s a three-cushion billiard that is about to put the Blues back in the game. At the corner: Kylian Mbappé. At the near post: Antoine Griezmann and Edin Dzeko. The Parisian kicks the leather, which bounces on the Bosnian’s chest, then on the back of a Grizou all happy with his blow. Without really hitting, France has just equalized (38th, 1-1). A small miracle which relieves, but which does not free the men of Deschamps.

Far from being brilliant, the Blues stammered their football at the Meinau, despite the good intentions of Paul Pogba, whose complicity with Karim Benzema at the start of the match heralded a whole other evening. Unless we know from the Euro, this group has defensive problems. And on a loss of ball from Thomas Lemar in his camp, the France team was punished by Edin Dzeko, the eternal Bosnian striker, who does not need more to shake the nets (0-1, 35th). Against the course of the game, the Blues thus found themselves led and under pressure.

Pressure which only increased when the locker room returned. At issue: the silly red card received by Jules Koundé, who came to tackle Sead Kolasinac violently at the Bosnian goal line. A gesture as useless as dangerous, surprising on the part of the Sevillian central defender once again aligned to the right of the defense by Didier Deschamps.

Jules Koundé’s red, expelled after the intervention of the VAR, finished cutting the legs of the Blues. Despite the interesting entries of Coman and Tchouaméni, France could not threaten Bosnia apart from a flash of Pogba (76th). Not worried either by exhausted Bosnians, the Blues ensured the point of the draw. A lesser evil.

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