France Defeats Paraguay In Friendly Exhibition

Olivier Giroud ended up with a hat trick against Paraguay. Photo Courtesy: Chris Wheatley Twitter Account
Olivier Giroud ended up with a hat trick against Paraguay.
Photo Courtesy: Chris Wheatley Twitter Account

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

France wraps up their friendly exhibition bout against Paraguay with a 5-0 win. With their next World Cup qualifying match taking place next Friday against Sweden, this friendly victory can be viewed as a simple warm up match for France.

It did not take long for France to take control as Olivier Giroud, with an assist from Ousmane Dembélé, drilled the ball with a left-footed shot to give Les Bleus a 1-0 in the sixth minute.  Seven minutes later, Giroud with an assist from Dmitri Payet scored his second goal of the game on a header, giving France a 2-0 lead. For the remaining of the first half, France and Paraguay just ran all over the field stealing the ball from each other and playing aggressively, though neither side were given a card. The entire match went with no player being shown a card.

Second half started the same way the majority of the first half went with both teams stealing the ball from each other. In the 69th minute, Giroud scored his third goal with an assist from Lucas Digne, thus completing a hat-trick. Seven minutes later Moussa Sissoko, with an assist from Alexandre Lacazette, making it a 4-0 score. Less than a minute later, Antoine Griezmann snuck past the Paraguayan goalkeeper and scored the game’s fifth goal unassisted.

Giroud who now has 26 goals while representing France is in France’s top ten all-time scoring list. He’s tied for ninth. He’s one goal away from being eighth and six goals away from passing French Legend Zinedine Zidane. French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made history becoming France’s most capped goalkeeper with 88, surpassing legendary goalkeeper Fabian Barthez.

France was all over Paraguay in this match. France didn’t allow Paraguay to have any corner kicks and maintained 59 percent of ball control. Despite scoring two early goals, France did have their hands full for a while. Paraguay’s defense showed resilience for a while, frustrating the French. Later in the game, Paraguay’s defense became exhausted and France simply took advantage, scoring three goals. 18-year-old star Kylian Mbappé missed this guy after due to thigh injury. Nothing serious as the manager Didier Deschamps said he only felt a little discomfort in his thigh and he will not play as a simple precaution. He should be ready to go for the WC Qualifier against Sweden next week.

Now that this friendly is wrapped up, it’s time for them to focus on Sweden. France is at the top their qualifying group with four wins, no losses, and a draw with 13 points. Sweden is second with three wins, one loss, and a draw with 10 points. France and Sweden have both scored ten goals and allowed three. These teams met last November in Paris and France edged Sweden 2-1. With this game being in Stockholm, it’s going to be a bit more complicated. France needs to be ready as their game against Sweden is crucial. Four days after their match against Sweden, France will have another friendly against England in Paris.