PARIS (EFE) – The world champion, France, accumulated in Kiev its fifth consecutive draw against Ukraine that allows Didier Deschamps’ team, however, comfortably retain its first place in Group D that gives direct access to the Qatar World Cup 2022.
After the equalized against Hungary (1-1), Portugal (2-2) and Switzerland (3-3), all in the last European Championship, and that of Bosnia on Wednesday (1-1), France continues to be stuck, although there given symptoms of improvement in the second period.
Shaparenko put the locals ahead in 44, but Anthony Martial equalized in 50. With that tie, the Gauls add 9 points, an outstanding leader, against 5 in Finland, the next rival on September 7, and also in Ukraine.
The world champions faced the toughest rival in the group, now coached by Olexandr Petrakov, who took over from the legendary Andriy Schevchenko at the end of the European Championship.
And the setting was Kiev, where the French have never won any of the four games they have played.
With Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane out of the starting eleven – presumably due to fatigue – and not without Kylian Mbappé, who left the concentration on Thursday alleging a muscle injury, France was entrusted to secondary names in Les Bleus, such as Kignsley Coman, Anthony Martial or Kourt Zouma.
The first 45 minutes left something to be desired. Much sterile possession and little bite in attack. We had to wait at the stroke of half an hour for a dangerous shot from France. Griezmann hooked one to the boat soon that it narrowly went off.
France handled the leather in the last third of the rival field, but it was the Ukrainians who gave a real sense of danger. They warned on set pieces and in some counterattacks until one of them on the edge of the break hit a target.
And they did it before the Gauls were about to go ahead in a combination between Grizemann and Pogba, which ended in a delicious first-touch assist to Martial, who missed a heads-up against Pyatov.
On the next play, Yaremuch overflowed Kimpembé – in a new lack of concentration by the PSG central defender – and his center cleared him to the crown of the Zouma area. At first, Shaparenko connected a shoe that entered the Lloris squad.
At the start of the second period, Martial redeemed himself. Coman put it on, Rabiot combed it and France striker finished off a goal with his right, with a bit of suspense from the hands that Pyatov had put in. The ball came in crying.
Already with Benzema in the field since 64, Tchouameni, one of the highlights tonight in his second international game, invented a pass to the Real Madrid striker.
His superb control and subsequent letdown to Diaby would have ended in a goal if the post had not frustrated the Bayer Leverkusen forward.
It was the best moment of Didier Deschamps. The Ukrainians were devastated and les bleus imposed their hierarchy. Tchouameni was injured and with him the illusion of a bleu comeback. Victory will have to wait, at least until the 7th.