The 3rd meeting between France and Cameroon.
The first ten minutes was just basically France and Cameroon feeling each other out and getting into the rhythm of the game, but the French showed their fighting spirit from the get-go. France was awarded a free kick in the 13th minute which Payet took. It eventually came to nothing in the end, but kudos to Payet and his banging ball deliveries! There is no questioning his call up. On the other end, Lloris makes a FANTASTIC save by pushing the ball past the post to deny Cameroon otherwise the Lions would’ve lead.
In the 20th minute, GOAL! Skillful Coman with a chipped cross which Matuidi gets on the end of to open the match.
Yes, I can watch that for the rest of the day.
Two minutes later, Cameroon went in search of an equalizer and found it in Vincent Aboubakar. Payet was caught napping allowing Aboubakar to get on the end of a good cross and tapping in past Lloris. France will go 2-1 up in the 41st minute when Pogba delivered a scrumptious cross from 35 yards out for Giroud who was waiting in goal.
And that’s what Giroud do. He screws the haters by talking on the pitch. But watch the awesome delivery of Pogba:
The genius of the goal is the way Pogba held the ball, and delayed the pass until he saw Giroud in a good position. That was Giroud’s 29th goal of the season, his 10th in his last 11 starts for France.
Two additional minutes were added on to the first half and France went into the 2nd half leading 2-1. Diarra was immediately replaced by Kanté for the 2nd half. Giroud had a chance to make it 3-1, but the goalie was quicker. It was an awful 1-on-1 miss on Giroud’s part. Pogba with the shot in the 61st minute, goalie with the save, Kanté with the follow-up, but it goes wide. Cameroon were awarded a free kick in the 63rd minute which was easy for Lloris to latch onto.
Deschamps made double substitutions in the 63rd minute: Giroud and Pogba off for Gignac and Sissoko respectively. Thirteen minutes later, Coman got replaced by Cabaye. France was always in control except for a few vulnerable moments. There was a moment where Evra challenged Cameroon’s #9 from the back and that player produced a few extra rolls for time wasting. The 86th minute saw a great run from Cabaye which the goalie Fabrice Ondoa read well. He produced a fine save and Evra’s follow-up was way off target. On the other end, the Cameroon captain beat Lloris to level things up at 2-2. Koscielny and Rami were nowhere to be found to deal with the ball off the free kick. Looks like we still have a problem at the back.
In the 90th minute, Payet delivered a SPECTACULAR free kick banging in at the top corner. He is ridiculous and the reigning FK specialist! He delivers when we need him! Look at this ridiculousness here:
Three extra minutes were added on in which Cabaye could’ve grabbed the fourth, but I am pleased with the 3-2 victory and the team. Everyone had a part to play and they played it well, but there’s still some knots to unravel.
*** Images and GIFs via Twitter