France’s Deschamps pleased to end year on positive note after win over Uruguay

France manager Didier Deschamps said he was glad his side finished 2018 on a positive note after a 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay in Paris.

Les Bleus, winners of the World Cup in Russia, failed to qualify for the Nations League finals earlier this week after a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands.

Olivier Giroud’s second-half penalty clinched the win for France and Deschamps said: “Collectively, we did good things against a quality Uruguay side. We were vigilant.

France v Republic of Ireland – International Friendly – Stade de France
France’s Olivier Giroud scored the only goal against Uruguay (Adam Davy/PA)

“It’s good to react, even more so after Friday’s non-game.

“We’ve ended up on a positive note. 2018 remains a great year. Many teams would have liked what we experienced in July.”

Chelsea striker Giroud converted a 52nd-minute penalty after being invited to take the spot kick by Antoine Griezmann.

Deschamps said: “That’s Antoine. He’s perhaps even a little too kind.

“He has a great state of mind… and he knows Olivier is important for the team.”

France were first to threaten through Giroud, who fired wide after being played in by Blaise Matuidi.

Uruguay served warning of their threat soon after when Matias Vecino’s header from Rodrigo Bentancur’s excellent cross was kept out by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Kylian Mbappe pulled his attempt off target after being sent clear by Antoine Griezmann, whose cross soon after was met by Matuidi’s shot, which was blocked.

The South Americans posed France problems again at the other end. Edinson Cavani combined with Vecino and the latter forced Lloris into another decent save.

France were dealt a blow nine minutes before half-time when star man Mbappe was forced off after an awkward landing and replaced by Florian Thauvin.

Matuidi and Giroud combined again early in the second half, but the latter failed to keep his header on target.

But the Chelsea striker broke the deadlock for Les Bleus in the early in the second half.

Uruguay’s Bruno Mendez was adjudged to have handled in the area and Giroud planted a left-footed spot kick into the bottom corner.

France’s tails were up and they went in search of a second. Thauvin’s drive was well saved by Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campana and Giroud was wayward from six yards out after being set up by Griezmann.

Speaking after the game to L’Equipe, Griezmann was asked why he let Giroud take the spot kick.

Laughing, he said: “I was having a good day… I wanted to let him have it.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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