News Matches

France v South Africa Live Commentary, 3/29/22

FT
5 - 0
FRA
RSA
K. Mbappé (23)
O. Giroud (33)
K. Mbappé (76 pen)
W. Ben Yedder (81)
M. Guendouzi (90+2)
Decathlon Arena – Stade Pierre-Mauroy

Commentary

That's all from Stade Pierre-Mauroy today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
Having not lost a single match since defeat to Switzerland at the Euros, France will next turn their attention to the upcoming Nations League, which begins at home to Denmark on June 3. Meanwhile, South Africa must lick their wounds and hope to fare better when they next meet a global heavyweight such as today's hosts.
An utterly dominant display - in which they rattled off 27 shots at South Africa's goal - earns France a seventh straight success in superb style. Signing off for the next few months with a captivating performance, albeit against limited opposition, the world champions are certainly in the form to defend their title later this year - with Euro 2020 failure now disappearing into the distance. A fluent attack was led by Mbappe, whose first goal recalled Thierry Henry at his peak, and Les Bleus look a formidable force once again.
90' + 3' FULL-TIME: FRANCE 5-0 SOUTH AFRICA
K. Mbappé
Assist
France
90' + 2' A creative force to the last, Mbappe adds an assist to his two goals, setting up Guendouzi's goal with a precision pass from the left.
M. Guendouzi
Goal
France
90' + 2' FRANCE HIT FIVE! Mbappe turns three defenders inside out with a couple of hip-swivels, before laying the ball into Guendouzi on the edge of the box. The midfielder steadies himself and then curls a delightful finish into the bottom-right corner to wrap up a 5-0 France win!
90' Diaby gets the fans off their seats with a surging run down the right, leaving his marker for dead, but the Leverkusen winger's pass into the area is just behind Mbappe and the chance of a fifth goal is lost.
C. Nkunku
J. Clauss
France
88' Clauss receives a warm round of applause at the conclusion of his full France debut, and Nkunku comes on in his place.
86' In search of a hat-trick, Mbappe sees his shot from the left side of the area blocked away to safety by a gold shirt.
K. Mudau
Red Card
South Africa
84' After a pitchside review of the evidence, Mudau's red card is confirmed, and South Africa go down to 10 men!
83' RED CARD? Half-time substitute Mudau is in trouble here, as he appears to have tripped Digne with a crude tackle from behind. The referee has been alerted by the VAR and heads for the pitchside monitor to decide his fate!
P. Pogba
Assist
France
81' Stretching every sinew, Pogba leapt to make a headed pass back across goal, straight into the path of Ben Yedder.
W. Ben Yedder
Goal
France
81' FRANCE NET A FOURTH! After a guided Mbappe cross to the back post, Pogba steers a headed pass towards the unmarked Ben Yedder, who then turns the ball in from no more than a yard out! France have another goal, and now lead 4-0 - accurately reflecting their dominance today.
B. Shandu
N. Mobbie
South Africa
80' Broos makes another change, as Mobbie is replaced by Shandu.
M. Guendouzi
A. Rabiot
France
80' Having been booked, Rabiot is substituted, and Guendouzi will have a run-out for the final 10 minutes.
J. Koundé
R. Varane
France
79' With the win assured, France captain Varane makes way for Kounde in defence.
K. Mbappé
Penalty Goal
France
76' MBAPPE BAGS HIS BRACE! In typically laconic style, Mbappe converts the penalty with a firm shot into the bottom right corner; leaving Williams with no chance to deny him a second goal. France 3-0 South Africa!
75' PENALTY CONFIRMED! The VAR agrees with the on-field officials, and France will have the chance to extend their advantage with a penalty.
S. Xulu
Yellow Card
South Africa
74' Xulu is booked for his foul on Mbappe, which concedes a penalty.
73' PENALTY! Mbappe dances past two yellow shirts on the left side of the area, and Xulu resorts to bringing the France forward down as he bears in on goal. The referee points to the spot, but will the VAR concur?
E. Makgopa
L. Foster
South Africa
72' After a fruitless time up front, Foster comes off for Makgopa.
72' Two substitutes combine, as Diaby plays in Pogba, whose shot from outside the box is skied over the crossbar.
71' Mbappe continues his pursuit of a second goal, but his latest attempt - from just outside the box - misses to the left side of Williams' goal.
69' After Clauss makes more progress down the right, Mbappe's shot from the centre of the area flies high over the South Africa crossbar.
A. Rabiot
Yellow Card
France
67' Rabiot is booked for an ill-timed lunging challenge on Dolly in midfield.
K. Dolly
B. Hlongwane
South Africa
66' South Africa respond to their hosts' changes by substituting Hlongwane; Dolly comes on.
T. Monare
Yellow Card
South Africa
66' For a foul on the newly arrived Pogba, Monare is shown a yellow card.
P. Pogba
O. Giroud
France
65' Pogba also comes on, for goalscorer Giroud.
W. Ben Yedder
N. Kanté
France
65' After a typically productive shift in the engine room, Kante is now replaced by Ben Yedder.
M. Diaby
A. Griezmann
France
65' Deschamps decides to make a triple change for the final 25 minutes. First, the impressive Griezmann makes way for Diaby.
63' OFF THE POST! Digne strikes the woodwork with a sidefoot volley from the left side of the box, with Williams getting a glove on the ball to divert it off its course for the back of his net. It was an excellent effort from a dropping ball, but the South Africa captain is once again equal to the task.
61' Les Bleus just won't relent, with Griezmann pulling the strings from his withdrawn role behind the strikers. Somehow, though, their lead is only two.
59' Attempting to latch on to a long diagonal ball into the box, Giroud is penalised for a push on Sibisi on the edge of the area; conceding a free-kick.
56' Following Giroud's latest attempt, France have managed 16 shots on goal so far (10 on target), to South Africa's meagre tally of two.
54' SAVE! Williams again comes to the rescue, as Giroud fires a left-footed shot from near the penalty spot towards the bottom right corner, following good work by Clauss down the right. The latter is becoming a more prominent force during the early stages of this second half.
53' Kimpembe has a header from the centre of the box saved comfortably by the overworked Williams - France are totally on top here, and should be further in front.
52' SHARP STOP! Mbappe is denied by Williams' quick reflexes, as the South Africa skipper palms the French forward's powerful drive just over the crossbar. Kante was the man who played him in.
49' CLOSE! Slicing his effort into the side-netting, Clauss almost opens his goalscoring account for France with a close-range shot, when played in by Kante down the right.
48' Varane's header from the centre of the area drifts high and wide to the left of Williams' goal, after a free-kick by Griezmann.
48' In an impressive performance so far, France have maintained a 92 per cent passing accuracy rate, as they move the ball about crisply and with purpose.
46' We are back under way in Lille!
K. Mudau
F. Lakay
South Africa
46' Fagrie Lakay is also substituted by the away side, as Mudau comes on.
G. Mosele
T. Mokoena
South Africa
46' South Africa replace Mokoena with Mosele for the second half.
As this is the last chance for France players to stand out among a dense crowd of talented squad members before the Nations League gets under way, those introduced during the second half will surely have a point to prove - particularly with the reigning champions' World Cup defence to follow at the end of this year.
Perhaps as expected before kick-off, France have dictated the tempo and direction of this game from almost first whistle to last, and have cruised into a richly deserved two-goal lead at the interval. Without doubt, Mbappe's magical moment will be viewed on repeat around the globe, and proved the pinnacle of some bright attacking play by Les Bleus. Meanwhile, South Africa have been consigned to toil deep inside their own half, and are short of quality when afforded rare opportunities on the break.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: FRANCE 2-0 SOUTH AFRICA
45' SAVE! Again played in by Digne on the left - a productive route for France so far - Mbappe can only strike a right-footed shot from the left side of the area area straight at Williams, who is covering the bottom left corner of his goal.
44' Foster's frustration is written all over his face, as Mobbie heavily overhits a cross from the right flank on one of few South African raids inside the France half. That's a goal-kick to the hosts.
42' An ambitious 25-yard drive by Rabiot, who strides forward from midfield, is easily fielded by Williams in the centre of his goal. Bafana Bafana are clinging on for half-time here.
39' SAVE! Williams has to make a sharp stop at his near post, as Digne thumps a powerful shot from the left side of the area towards the bottom corner.
37' Clauss has a scuffed shot from the right side of the box saved in the bottom right corner by Williams, after a pass from Giroud.
35' Giroud's goal is his 48th for France; taking him just three shy of joining Thierry Henry as Les Bleus' all-time top scorer.
A. Griezmann
Assist
France
33' Griezmann sets up his second goal of the day - this time with a precise pass from the 'number 10' position, just outside the area.
O. Giroud
Goal
France
33' FRANCE EXTEND THEIR LEAD! After Kante steals the ball in midfield, Griezmann takes control via an Mbappe flick, and feeds Giroud with a pass into the box. The Milan striker takes a couple of touches to tee himself up, then strokes the ball calmly into the bottom corner. France 2-0 South Africa!
32' Giroud steers a header from the centre of the area wide of goal, following a fast France break.
31' A rare South Africa break ends as Mokoena miscontrols the ball near the France area, opening the visitors up to a swift counter attack.
29' Digne crosses from the left once more, but Mbappe turns his close-range header wide of the left post as he stretches to get sufficient contact.
27' As the game re-settles following a raucous response to Mbappe's goal, France slowly turn up the pressure again on their struggling opponents.
25' With his super-strike today, Mbappe has notched his 25th goal from 54 international appearances.
A. Griezmann
Assist
France
23' Taking the ball down the right byline, Griezmann cut the ball back towards Mbappe at the far post, and his strike partner did the rest in some style.
K. Mbappé
Goal
France
23' MBAPPE MAGIC! France take the lead through a moment of inspiration from their star striker, as Mbappe controls a Griezmann deep cross on the left side of the area, draws two defenders, then curls the ball in an unstoppable arc past Williams into the top corner! That's a brilliant strike to opening the scoring, and France go 1-0 in front!
22' Following a layoff by Foster, 20 yards out from goal, Mokoena slashes at an attempt which sails well off target.
20' Williams gathers the ball safely above Mbappe's head, after another Digne cross from the left is overhit into the area. France are making most of their early progress down that flank.
18' Confirming France's domination so far, Les Bleus have had 71 per cent of the ball, with three shots at goal to South Africa's one.
16' CLOSE! After skipping clear of Mvala in midfield, Mbappe lines up a shot from 25 yards, out on the left side of the area. However, his powerful effort flies wide of the right post.
14' As Fagrie Lakay chases onto a ball down the right, Varane attempts to cover across but can only bundle the South Africa forward to the ground; conceding a free-kick. From the set-piece, Rabiot is called upon to head the ball clear to safety from inside his six-yard box.
12' After an apparent blood injury to Xulu, causing a brief stop to the game, the South Africa centre-back is cleared to return to the fray.
10' Digne crosses accurately again, following a perceptive pass by Kante, but Mbappe gets his angles wrong and steers a wayward effort wide of goal from the left side of the area.
8' Kimpembe commits a foul on Fagrie Lakay midway through the France half, but South Africa waste the free-kick opportunity as Maignan gathers the ball easily from Lyle Lakay's attempt.
6' SAVE! Following a Digne cross from the left, Giroud eludes his marker at the near post to get a deft flick on the ball; sending it towards the top corner at pace. Williams is well placed, though, and diverts the ball over for a France corner.
5' The visitors, clad in their familiar gold and green, have settled back into a deep defensive shape, attempting to hold the French at bay.
3' Wearing all-white, France have started as the dominant side, zipping the ball around in midfield without making much progress into the South Africa half.
1' South Africa get us under way at Stade Pierre-Mauroy!
The players are out on the pitch in Lille, and having observed both national anthems, kick-off is now just moments away!
Hugo Broos also rings the changes, as Williams starts in goal for South Africa and captains the side, with Fagrie Lakay coming in up front. The latter's namesake Lyle Lakay features in defence, while Mothwa and Shandu are among those making way from the lineup that faced Guinea last Friday.
France manager Didier Deschamps makes a number of changes to the side that started against Ivory Coast, as Milan's Maignan starts in goal and Saliba is brought into the back three. Kimpembe, Kante and Mbappe are among the others introduced, while Clauss makes his full debut after receiving a first international cap last week, aged 29.
SUBS: Bruce Bvuma, Veli Mothwa, Bandile Shandu, Keagan Dolly, Sepana Letsoalo, Ethan Brooks, Khuliso Mudau, Rushine De Reuck, Evidence Makgopa, Terrence Mashego, Goodman Mosele, Athenkosi Mcaba.
SOUTH AFRICA (4-3-3): Ronwen Williams; Nyiko Mobbie, Siyanda Xulu, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Lyle Lakay; Teboho Mokoena, Mothobi Mvala, Thabang Monare; Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Lyle Foster, Fagrie Lakay.
SUBS: Hugo Lloris, Alphonse Areola, Lucas Hernandez, Moussa Diaby, Aurelien Tchouameni, Theo Hernandez, Matteo Guendouzi, Jules Kounde, Kingsley Coman, Paul Pogba, Wissam Ben Yedder, Christopher Nkunku.
FRANCE (3-4-1-2): Mike Maignan; Presnel Kimpembe, William Saliba, Raphael Varane; Jonathan Clauss, Adrien Rabiot, N'Golo Kante, Lucas Digne; Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe.
South Africa recorded a goalless draw with Guinea last week, but rather than preparing for the World Cup, they are building towards the future. Bafana Bafana have previously played in three global Finals, but have not been present in the last two and will also not feature at Qatar 2022 after finishing second behind Ghana in their qualification group. Today's visitors have won only one of their last four friendly fixtures - at home to Uganda last June - but notoriously beat France 2-1 when the two nations last met, at the 2010 World Cup in their own back yard.
Reigning world champions France are seeking a seventh straight win since crashing out of last year's Euro 2020, following their 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast last Friday. Aurelien Tchouameni produced the winning goal in second-half stoppage time, after Olivier Giroud had equalised Nicolas Pepe's opener in Marseille. Having lifted the trophy for the second time back in 2018, Les Bleus picked up 18 points from their eight World Cup qualifying matches to finish top of Group D and seal an automatic place in Qatar.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's international friendly encounter between France and South Africa, from Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy!