European Qualifiers Day 5 - Ukraine vs France
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Fifa World Cup Qualifying
Yet another round of qualifying in the European bracket for the 2022 World Cup took place overnight as matchday 5 took center stage. Groups A, D, F, G, &H all had fixtures take place. For all the latest scores, tables, and a closer look at the match of the day, please read on.
UKRAINE vs FRANCE
The pick of the matches saw France traveled to Ukraine. Their minds firmly set on putting match week 4's draw with Bosnia behind them with an eye on taking all 3 points to gain a semblance of advantage in the 'Group of Draws'
After goal machine and Real Madrid target, Kylian Mbappe withdrew from the French squad with a calf injury - the French chose to go with Martial upfront alongside 'new old' Atletico Madrid player Antoine Griezzman. Aurelien Tchouameni was afforded his first start and second cap in midfield alongside Paul Pogba.
Ukraine switched to a back 3 for this one. They were missing Oleksandr Zinchenko in midfield, serving a suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards in the competition. Their front 3 was made up of Roman Yaremchuk, Andriy Yaramalenko & Viktor Tsygankov. Pretty recognizable if you'd seen any of 'The Blue and Yellow' at Euro 2020.
The match itself was a pulsating encounter with both sides having chances. The atmosphere was electric as the home fans cheered on their side, hoping to break their own streak of draws. Both sides had great chances, but a combination of poor finishing and great goalkeeping kept the scores level.
The breakthrough came in the 44th-minute when Mykola Shaparenko finished a blistering counterattack with a sublime finish from outside the box to put the hosts ahead. It was an incredible way to register your first international goal. To rub salt into the wound it the counterattack came directly from Martial squandering a great chance of his own firing straight at the goalie.
France returned serve mere minutes into the second half as Martial made amends for his miss to score only his 2nd goal in twenty-nine caps for the French senior side. He poked the scraps from a Coman cross into the box after Griezzman failed to make it count with his head. Despite having chance after chance the French couldn't find a winner and the match petered out, finishing at 1-1.
In other results, the Netherlands steamrolled Montenegro 4-0 with Memphis Depay the star with 2 goals. Elsewhere Israel put 5 past Austria at home to hold on to second place in Group F at the halfway point of qualifying.
Group A; Serbia 4-1 Luxembourg, Republic Of Ireland 1-1 Azerbaijan
Group D: Ukraine 1-1 France
Group F: Faroe Islands 0-1 Denmark, Israel 5-2 Austria, Scotland 1-0 Moldova
Group G: Latvia 0-2 Norway, Netherlands 4-0 Montenegro, Gibraltar 0-3 Turkey
Group H: Cyprus 0-2 Russia, Slovenia 1-0 Malta, Slovakia 0-1 Croatia
IMAGES COURTESY OF UEFA.COM
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