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Skipper Mbappe reigns supreme as France trounce Netherlands in Euro 2024 qualifying

Updated on: 26 March,2023 08:00 AM IST  |  Paris

Kylian gets off to thunderous start as France captain; scores brace in 4-0 victory over depleted Dutch in Euro 2024 qualifier

Skipper Mbappe reigns supreme as France trounce Netherlands in Euro 2024 qualifying

France’s Kylian Mbappe is delighted after scoring v The Netherlands during the Euro qualifier at Stade de France, Paris, on Friday. Pic/AFP

Kylian Mbappe marked his first game as France captain on Friday with two goals and an assist as the World Cup finalists romped to a 4-0 win against a depleted Netherlands side in a Euro 2024 qualifier in Paris. 

Mbappe has succeeded long-standing France skipper Hugo Lloris and the new era got off to a flying start as the Paris Saint-Germain superstar set up the pink-haired Antoine Griezmann to score inside two minutes. 

Upamecano nets 2nd goal

Dayot Upamecano bundled in the second goal in the eighth minute and Mbappe got his name on the scoresheet to make it 3-0 before the midway point in the first half. 

Mbappe wrapped up the victory in emphatic fashion with two minutes remaining, before the Netherlands’ Memphis Depay had a stoppage-time penalty saved by goalkeeper Mike Maignan. 

Also Read: PSG forward Kylian Mbappe named as France captain after Hugo Lloris retirement

It was a display of ruthless efficiency from Didier Deschamps’ side against a Dutch team missing several key players after a virus swept through their squad. 
They can at least console themselves in the knowledge that their toughest assignment in qualifying Group B is out of the way and their next game is at home to Gibraltar on Monday. 

Ireland next

The French now head to Dublin to play the Republic of Ireland but it is going to take something remarkable for them to fail to qualify for next year’s Euro given the top two teams in each group go through. 

“We didn’t want to disappoint our fans. This was our first game back here after the World Cup and we really wanted to pick up where we left off there, except for the final,” Mbappe told broadcaster TF1.

Of his own game, Mbappe added: “I try to do my job, be decisive and bring everyone else with me. It worked well today but this is just the beginning so let’s not get carried away.” 

There were four changes to Deschamps’ team compared to the World Cup final, with Lloris and centre-back Raphael Varane having retired—they were honoured on the Stade de France pitch before kick-off—while Ousmane Dembele is injured and Olivier Giroud started on the bench. 

In came AC Milan’s Maignan in goal and Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate in central defence, while there were starts for Kingsley Coman and Randal Kolo Muani, two players who came off the bench in the Doha final. 

Koeman’s second spell

The Netherlands, with Ronald Koeman back for a second spell as coach, were without Cody Gakpo, Matthijs de Ligt, Sven Botman, Denzel Dumfries and Frenkie de Jong for a variety of reasons.

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