🌍 France extend perfect start to Euros qualifying; unlikely Dutch hero | OneFootball

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Richard Buxton·27 March 2023

🌍 France extend perfect start to Euros qualifying; unlikely Dutch hero

Article image:🌍 France extend perfect start to Euros qualifying; unlikely Dutch hero

There were eight 2024 European Championship qualifiers on Monday as the second round of fixtures got underway and this is what went down.


Pavard extends France’s flawless start

Scorers: Pavard 50′

France’s flawless start to their Group B qualifying campaign continued as Benjamin Pavard sealed maximum points against a resolute Republic of Ireland.

Olivier Giroud made history at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium as his country’s oldest outfield player to start a competitive fixture and was routinely involved in the game’s early action.

Randal Kolo Muani attempted to pick out the AC Milan striker after rounding Gavin Bazunu, only for a timely interception by Nathan Collins to thwart the visitors’ attack.

A more clear-cut opportunity presented itself for Giroud as he attempted to head a cross goalward before it took a deflection off Ireland captain Séamus Coleman.

It was a similar story when Pavard sent a right-sided delivery to the near post, only for Antoine Griezmann to fluff his lines as the ball bounced wide of goal.

But Les Bleus finally delivered a breakthrough just five minutes into the second half as Bayern Munich right-back Pavard seized upon an undercooked pass from Josh Cullen and fired a powerful effort into the roof of Bazunu’s net.

Didier Deschamps’ side still had to weather a storm as Ireland pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages as Mike Maignan produced a stunning acrobatic save to deny Collins’ header.


Aké at the double in Koeman’s second Dutch act

Scorers: Depay 23′, Aké 50′, 83′

Ronald Koeman’s second spell as Netherlands head coach finally took flight with a comfortable 3-0 win over 10-man Gibraltar.

The former defender had endured a four-goal hammering by France in his first return outing but found no such troubles against the world’s 200th-ranked side.

Memphis Depay opened the scoring in Rotterdam when he rose to meet Denzel Dumfries’ cross from the right with a looping header to extend his record against Gibraltar to five goals in three Oranje appearances.

Nathan Aké doubled the Dutch’s advantage early in the second half by converting another ball into the box from Dumfries with a stooping effort to beat Dayle Coleing.

Gibraltar’s night went from bad to worse barely a minute later as midfielder Liam Walker received a straight red card for scything down Mats Wieffer on the halfway line.

Aké capped off a routine evening for the hosts as the Manchester City defender’s rolled effort from outside the penalty area took a deflection to catch out Coleing.


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