France Defeats Vietnam in Soccer

Football European Championship Grass 2016 France
Football European Championship Grass 2016 France

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

The French U-20 team took down Vietnam 4-0 in their second game in the Group Stage. France is now 2-0 in their Group Stage progress and they’ve got six points and they’re qualified to advance to the Knockout Stage. France has yet to allow a goal, joining Venezuela and Uruguay. In the first round of the Knockouts, France will take on the runners of Group D, which will be either Japan and Italy.

Marcus Thuram scored the first goal in the 18th minute on a header, giving Les Bleuets a 1-0 lead. Shortly before, France was awarded a penalty kick, but Jean-Kevin Augustin could not drill the ball in, giving Vietnam a huge sigh of relief. However, four minutes after France took a 1-0 lead, Augustin made up for his missed penalty by slipping past the Vietnamese defense and with a pass from Thurman he kicked the ball right past the goalie to make it 2-0. In the 45th minute, Augustin single-handedly powered through three Vietnamese defenders and drilling the ball into the net to give France a 3-0 lead. Seven minutes later, Denis Poha kicked the ball from behind the penalty box and into the Vietnamese goal box, making 4-0, officially helping France clinch their group.

France did a very good job of maintaining ball control for much of the game as they had control 67 percent of the time, as well as avoiding discipline. France’s defense only allowed Vietnam to make three attempted shots and none of them were on target for a goal. Long story short, the Vietnamese could not get anything going as France was all over them. Vietnam only had one corner kick while France nine. However, give credit to the Vietnamese goalkeeper as he made four saves, including one on a penalty kick.

Let’s take a moment and look at three great talents on the U-20 squad. Marcus Thuram, Jean-Kevin Augustin and Lucas Tousart. They were on the U-19 squad that won the U-19 European Championship last summer. They were on the team alongside Kylian Mbappe, who’s on the senior squad now. Now they’re on the U-20 squad and they’re doing great. Soon, they’ll be on the senior squad representing their country on the highest level. If they can win this tournament, it not only adds to their list of accomplishments, but it increases their chance of one day playing for France on the senior level.

Thuram is the son of legendary French player Lilian Thuram, who played for the French National team from 1994 to 2008, winning the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000 and is the most capped player on national team’s history with 142. Marcus intends to follow his Dad’s footsteps and help France win another World Cup and a European Championship.

Augustin is a rising star. Last summer, not only did he win the U-19 European Championship, but he won two additional awards; Golden Player award and the Top Scorer award. If Augustin and Thuram were to be called up to the senior squad for the France’s remaining World Cup Qualifying games, they along with other forwards Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe (his teammate from last summer’s U-19 squad that won the title), Dmitri Payet and Oliver Giroud would possibly make France the world’s top scoring threat. Augustin is really making an impact and there’s no doubt that the manager of the National Team can’t wait to call him up.

Lucas Tousart is the current captain of the U-20. According to Bleacher Reports’ Sam Tighe, Tousart is a commanding and dominant midfielder and he may be the best midfielder in this tournament. If Tousart can continue his dominance on playing defense, he’ll be a very useful talent on the senior squad.

France’s final Group Stage is this Sunday against New Zealand. France looks to finish 3-0 and enter the knockout stage with plenty of confidence and resilience. Now, the French youth system is looked at one of the best in the entire world and France is regarded as one of the best soccer countries in the world. Many say that since France suffered an upsetting loss to Portugal in the final of the Euro 16 on home soil, France has only gotten stronger and better. With the youth teams getting stronger and better, too, then France’s future is bright indeed. France intends to win add more stars to their uniform and bring home more titles.