Euro 2024: France, Winners over Greece, Continue their Faultless Performance

Euro 2024
France gain the lead with a penalty

With this new victory counting for the qualifications for Euro 2024, the French football team has a large lead at the head of their group.

France ended their rich season with a narrow victory against a catchy Greek selection (1-0), a fourth success in a row which allows the France team to see Euro-2024 in Germany in the distance.

The contract is fulfilled for Kylian Mbappé and his gang: the Tricolores go on vacation with a clear round, no goals conceded in four matches this year and a large lead at the top of their qualifying group, six points ahead of their evening opponents and nine points ahead of Ireland and the Netherlands.

“We did what was necessary to win it,” said coach Didier Deschamps. “We could have been more efficient but hey, four matches, twelve points, nine goals scored and zero conceded, it’s satisfactory”.

Victory for France on a penalty from Mbappé

France, in numerical superiority at the end of the match after the exclusion of Konstaninos Mavropanos (69th), won on a penalty from their captain Mbappé (55th), already a scorer in this exercise on Friday against Gibraltar in Faro (3-0).

With 40 goals in the selection, the Parisian star is now on the heels of Michel Platini (41 goals) in the glorious ranking of scorers in the history of the France team. At only 24 years old…

Over the course of a controlled but choppy evening, the French took a few blows, suffered a few shirt-pulling incidents and some even ended up bleeding (Antoine Griezmann).

But this bitter battle was finally won by the France team, in what sometimes looked like a tribute to the Top 14 rugby final, played on Saturday evening in the same stadium.


To respond to the physical impact of Greece, Didier Deschamps had lined up a strong team, with the return of several executives from recent months such as Mike Maignan, Dayot Upamecano and Jules Koundé, exempt from the first match against Gibraltar.

But his most striking choice was to launch Randal Kolo Muani in attack, instead of Friday’s striker Olivier Giroud.

More restless and faster than his elder, the Frankfurt player nevertheless had a complicated evening in the middle of the dense Greek defence, even if he ended up causing the red card of Mavropanos.

Unsurprisingly, France were therefore above all threatening on the wings. That of Kingsley Coman, renewed on the right after his good performance on Friday, and that of Mbappé, much more in the legs on his left side.

Greece, the 52nd nation in the world which dreams of participating in its first international tournament since 2014, responded with unfailing solidarity and a good dose of aggressiveness.

Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, whose last match was on the whistle, seemed to appreciate the intensity put on by Gustavo Poyet’s men because he never flinched when Mbappé collapsed in the area several times (2nd, 27th, 41st), jostled or hooked by the opposing defence.

French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga
French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga challenges the defense of Greece at the Stade de France, June 19, 2023. (© AFP / Alain JOCARD)

The Calvary of Mavropanos

The hands claimed by the Blues (7th, 41st) were not whistled either, and it was not the broca of the 80,000 spectators at the Stade de France that was going to change anything.

It finally took Antoine Griezmann to take Mavropanos’ crampons in the face at full speed (49th) for the referee to bring the whistle to his lips and award a penalty to the Habs… Without however excluding the culprit, despite the bloody face of the Atlético Madrid player, who was quickly treated.

And since nothing was easy, Monday evening in Saint-Denis, Mbappé needed two tries to convert his penalty: on the first, stopped by Odisseas Vlachodimos, Mavropanos, again him, had entered the area too early …

It was definitely not the evening of the defender of Stuttgart, excluded a few minutes later for having mowed down Kolo Muani who was spinning alone in goal.

At the end of this extended season, with a World Cup housed in the heart of autumn and more than 60 matches on the counter of several internationals, history will also remember that this final meeting will have stretched for 104 minutes, with 14 minutes added time in the second half. Before a deserved rest.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *