Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud score in France’s win as Netherlands close out Nations League final – first leg | Football news

France continued to raise hopes of staying in the top tier of the Nations League as goals from Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud ensured a 2-0 home win over Austria on Thursday.

Mbappe opened the scoring with a stunning goal against Giroud, who once again showed coach Didier Deschamps he was not third choice, sealing the world champion’s victory with a header. .

France, who travel to Denmark on Sunday, have climbed to third place in Group A1 with five points from multiple matches.

However, the victory has a price to pay when defender Jules Kounde and goalkeeper Mike Maignan are injured, and could join Karim Benzema, Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba on the bench.

The hosts, who have lost two and drawn two of their previous four games, went out with all guns blazing at the Stade de France.

Mbappe hit a shot into the top corner in the second minute but the effort was disallowed because of offside.

Aurelien Tchouameni’s effort from outside the box after a quick combination between Antoine Griezmann and Mbappe was overturned by Austria’s Patrick Pentz as Les Bleus pummeled under pressure.

Defender Kounde became the squad’s latest casualty of injury as he limped off the pitch with a muscle problem and Maignan was replaced by Alphonse Areola after half-time due to calf pain.

Olivier Giroud of France celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Nations League football match between France and Austria at the Stade de France stadium in Saint Denis, a suburb of Paris, France, Thursday, September 22, 2022 .  (AP Photo / Christophe Ena)
Olivier Giroud of France celebrates the second goal of the game

Mbappe, denied by Pentz after a one or two with Giroud, plagued the Austrian defense with his pace and created space for his teammate Jonathan Clauss to miss just one goal early in the second half.

Mbappe broke the deadlock with a cool finish after beating five defenders after Giroud’s perfect pass.

That spurred Austria into action but they lacked precision in the box and it was France who scored again.

Giroud netted in the 65th minute from Griezmann’s precise cross in his 49th international goal, two points behind Thierry Henry’s national record.

The AC Milan forward was replaced by Ousmane Dembele to a standing ovation from the Stade de France audience, leaving Deschamps – who only called Giroud in the absence of Benzema – with a wise decision ahead of the November World Cup.

Netherlands ends Nations League final

Netherlands & # 39;  Cody Gakpo, left, celebrates with the Netherlands & # 39;  Virgil van Dijk after scoring his team's opening goal during the UEFA Nations League football match between Poland and the Netherlands at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, September 22, 2022. (AP Photo / Michal Dyjuk)
Cody Gakpo of the Netherlands celebrates his goal with captain Virgil Van Dijk

Cody Gakpo scored early and Steven Bergwijn added a second to score Netherlands 2-0 away win Poland on Thursday and put them in the round of one point after qualifying for the Nations League group stage.

The undefeated Netherlands have now won four of their five matches in Group A4 and are three points ahead of Belgium, who beat Wales 2-1.

The Dutch need only a home draw against Belgium in Amsterdam on Sunday to secure a place in next year’s four-team Nations League finals.

Gakpos’ 13th-minute opener at Narodowy Stadium came at the end of a deft pass as the striker only had to touch Denzel Dumfries’ perfect square pass in the 13th minute after the Three’s defense Lan is overrated.

Bergwijn doubled the lead in the 60th minute, from attacking on the left wing to smoothly coordinate with substitute Vincent Janssen and successfully cushion the ball.

The victory belongs to the Netherlands is deserved when their close play often steals Poland’s possession of the ball and lets the visitors control the tempo of the game.

But a different scenario could have happened if Polish substitute Arkadiusz Milik hadn’t missed from space after a Przemyslaw Frankowskis’ cross shortly after coming on.

The Dutch players celebrate after the Netherlands & # 39;  Steven Bergwijn, second left, scores his team's second goal during the UEFA Nations League football match between Poland and the Netherlands at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Thursday, 22 September 2022. (AP Photo / Michal Dyjuk)
Steven Bergwijn scores Holland’s second goal in Poland

It was Poland’s only clear chance but Milik went to great lengths to help the Netherlands keep their first clean sheet in seven games this year.

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal surprised the 38-year-old Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer, making him the country’s second-oldest player behind Sander Boschker, who was almost 40 years old when he scored the only goal against Ghana in the World Cup warm-up. friendly in 2010.

Van Gaal told Dutch television before the match he was “curious” to see what Pasveer could add to the team after a good start to the season with Ajax, but the keeper doesn’t have much to do. must do.

Croatia tops Group A1 with victory

Croatian players celebrate after Borna Sosa scored the opening goal during the Nations League A football match between Croatia and Denmark at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Croatia, Thursday, September 22, 2022. (AP Photo / Darko Bandic)
Croatia players celebrate after Borna Sosa scores the opener

Croatia Lovro Majer’s replacement scored a late goal as they beat Denmark 2-1 on Thursday to top Group A with the winner coming two minutes after captain Christian Eriksen’s superb equalizer.

After beating Denmark in Copenhagen in June, the Croats repeated the feat, picking up 10 points from five games, one point ahead of Denmark in their bid to qualify for the Nations League semi-finals.

Defender Borna Sosa, who was born in the Precko district of Zagreb and apprenticed at local club Dinamo before moving to VfB Stuttgart, opened the scoring with a finish from the edge of the box four minutes after the break.

Despite the Danish attack being erroneous for much of the night, a moment of magic from Eriksen looked to warrant a point as he unleashed a sublime stunner in the 77th minute.

The relief was short-lived as Majer, who came on for Mateo Kovacic after Eriksen’s goal, picked up the ball at the edge of the box and edged past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Elsewhere in the Nations League…

It was a busy night in League C. In Group C3, Azerbaijani guarantee a later victory Slovakia. They took the lead for most of the game, and immediately got Erik Jirka’s equalizer to take all 3 points.

In Group C1, Turkey came from behind three times to draw 3-3 with Luxembourg in Istanbul. Lithuania also tied 1-1 with Faroe Islands.

In League D, Andorra was the first 2-0 winner Liechtensteinwith Moldova beat Lativa 2-1. Kazakhstan also beat Belarus 2-1, although Askhat Tagybergen was sent off late for a second yellow card.

Lithuania and Belarus are now relegated to Group D.

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