France Wins Football's UEFA Nations League
Updated: Oct 15, 2021
The French men's national team has put a poor European Championships behind them by becoming the second side to lift UEFA's newest competition the UEFA Nations League.
After coming from behind to defeat Belgium in the semi-final just days ago, the French needed to repeat the trick to get past La Furia Roja after going behind to a Mikel Oyarzabal goal
In what was a tight match-up, with the tiniest of margins separating the sides, it was a cagey first half that finished 0-0. It took until the 64th minute to break the 0-0 deadlock. Theo Fernandez shot was still reverbarating the crossbar at the other end of the pitch when a Sergio Busquets' through ball set Mikel Oyarzabal with a golden opportunity which he took with aplomb, driving it across Hugo Lloris' goal going Spain a 1-0 lead.
Business picked up from there. Just two minutes later ageless striker Karim Benzema curled an unstoppable 25 yarder past Unai Simon in the Spain goal to equalize. The game was well and truly opened up now. There were chances at both ends in the ensuing ten minutes but to no avail.
Enter Kylian Mbappe.
The heir to the best player in the world's throne extinguished the memory of his Euro 2020 penalty miss vs Switzerland when he timed his run to perfection on to Theo Hernandez's sumptuous pass to sweep the winner past a diving Unai Simon. The initial calls from the Spanish defense for offside fell on deaf ears and replays showed it was a non-issue as the French side celebrated in front of their fans. It was another come from behind victory - just as they had done against Belgium just days earlier.
Spain didn't give up and Hugo Lloris was required to be at his absolute best to keep them from sending the game to extra time. Ultimately he did and the final whistle blew with a score of 2-1, crowning Les Bleus the second-ever UEFA Nations League champion.
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Next, up both sides turn their attention to World Cup qualification as Spain take on Greece and France play Kazakhstan in the November international break.
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