International friendlies: England stunned by 10-man France thanks to inspired Ousmane Dembele
Paris: Ousmane Dembele scored an exciting performance with a decisive 10-man goal France beat England 3-2 in a friendly in Paris on Tuesday, where the assistant video assistant played a central role.
Captain Harry Kane had already scored twice for visitors at the Stade de France, including a penalty early in the second half.
France’s Ousmane Dembele (L) celebrates after scoring ahead of AFP France Ousmane Dembele (L) celebrates after scoring. AFP
The penalty came after Italian referee gave a sudden jolt in a foul on Dele Alli and video assistant, he tried here, ruled that Raphael Varane deserved a direct red card.
The decision was controversial, after FIFA had changed last year’s rules to reduce cases in which players were expelled for denying clear goal chances, unless the offense is deliberate.
Teammates Varane and French fans disagree with the call after Samuel Umtiti and Djibril Sidibe scored to cancel Kane’s opening.
But the recovery in France when a man has been a source of disappointment with the English manager Gareth Southgate.
“In the space of 90 minutes, we saw things we were good at, it seemed like a threat to us and it has created a lot of openings and we have seen that we have to do better,” he said.
Meanwhile, France coach Didier Deschamps was delighted to see his team return to victory after a defeat at the World Cup in Sweden.
“It’s always good to end up with a win, especially after a defeat. We were with 10 men, so he went up to the players, as he is an excellent England team,” he told TF1.
It was a good season finale played against French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May and preceded by an emotional tribute to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in England.
French fans of the crowd of about 80,000 joined the British anthem “God Save the Queen” and observed a minute of silence in honor of the victims of attacks in Manchester and London in the last month.
England was back in France for the first time since their disastrous Eurocup campaign in 2016 when they were humiliated by Iceland in the last 16.
Southgate made six changes to his squad after the 2-2 World Cup draw in Scotland, while Kane still wore the captain’s armband.
Tottenham Hotspur striker, top scorer of last season’s Premier League, scored a time equalizer break at Hampden Park and gave him the lead at nine minutes here, after touching the heel Raheem Sterling had set up Ryan Bertrand to make a cross Light from the left.
Olivier Giroud made an effort offside and France were forced to change soon – the first of many substitutions – while Lucas Digne replaced the injured Benjamin Mendy.
The 2016 Euro finalist deserved the draw when he reached the middle of the first half when Barcelona defender Umtiti followed up after Tom Heaton saved the Giroud header.
Burnley goalie, Heaton, was preferred in order to get under the fire of Joe Hart and highlighted his skills with a good stop to deny Kylian Mbappe, but was hit again two minutes before the break.
Dembele did brilliantly to create the opportunity for a shot that was saved by Heaton, but back in the back of Monaco Sidibe converted the rebound.
Many members of the crowd still return to their seats after the break, when Davide Massa referee pointed to the point where Varane cut Alli in the region.
Varane could believe it when he was ejected after the video assistant’s intervention, and Kane then beat his Spurs colleague Lloris from 12 yards, but France had the last word.
Mbappe hitting the crossbar before, with 12 minutes on foot, set the star of Borussia Dortmund, Dembele, to win the winner of a low finish after substitution goalkeeper Jack Butland.