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2017 International Friendly, International Friendly
  • Antoine Griezmann (18')
  • Olivier Giroud (71')

Giroud and Griezmann score in France's easy win vs. Wales

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France 2-0 Wales: Griezmann, Giroud lead Les Bleus (2:16)

Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud found the back of the net as France made easy work of Wales in a friendly. (2:16)

France underlined their status as World Cup contenders next summer with an impressive 2-0 friendly win over Wales in Paris.

Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud scored as Wales endured a tough night in their first game since their own World Cup hopes were ended by the Republic of Ireland last month.

Chris Coleman was a helpless spectator in what could prove to be one of his final games in charge of Wales.

Talks are set to resume between Coleman and the Football Association of Wales after Tuesday's friendly with Panama in Cardiff.

Although his side were well beaten at the Stade de France with the hosts striking the woodwork three times, there was real encouragement for the future with the promising debuts of Ethan Ampadu and David Brooks and another impressive cameo from Ben Woodburn.

But France were too good and the front line of Griezmann, Giroud and the outstanding Kylian Mbappe caused all sorts of problems.

Griezmann's role in the France side had been questioned by some after an indifferent season at Atletico Madrid which has seen him fail to score in his last seven appearances.

But Griezmann struck in Les Bleus' final World Cup qualifier against Belarus last month and he did so again after 18 minutes.

France were Wales' first overseas opponents in 1933 when the two teams fought out a 1-1 draw at the Stade de Colombes in Paris.

But this was only their fifth meeting, and the first since 1982 when Wales' record goalscorer Ian Rush settled a Toulouse friendly.

France appeared intent on making up for lost time as Wales struggled to get out of their own half in the early exchanges.

Blaise Matuidi fired wide before his midfield ally Corentin Tolisso wasted an even more inviting opportunity after Griezmann squared a delightful ball into his path.

Mbappe then saw his 10th-minute shot diverted onto the crossbar by Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey as France again found their way through too easily.

A France goal looked inevitable and it duly arrived after 18 minutes when Tolisso spotted the run of Griezmann and Hennessey was unable to stop his left-foot volley.

Wales finally escaped the shackles after 36 minutes when Neil Taylor broke down the left to cross.

Joe Ledley claimed a penalty under Laurent Koscielny's challenge, but the ball broke to Chris Gunter and Steve Mandanda held his low effort.

The pattern of the game remained the same at the start of the second half as Gunter's attempted clearance struck Kingsley Coman and spun into the path of Giroud.

The Arsenal striker had time to take considered aim but Hennessey was equal to his fierce drive.

Coleman felt some fresh legs were needed, and Ampadu and Brooks were sent on for debuts, while Liverpool's teenage forward Woodburn was handed another opportunity.

The triple substitution galvanised Wales and Mandanda made a double save from Aaron Ramsey and Gunter.

But France put the game to bed after 72 minutes when Mbappe scorched down the right.

The Paris St Germain striker found Giroud infield and a cruel deflection off the unfortunate James Chester wrong-footed Hennessey.

Samuel Umtiti and substitute Benjamin Pavard struck the woodwork late on as Wales emerged with dignity in tact.

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