World Champions France find their feet as they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the UEFA Nations League A.

French striker Olivier Giroud ended his goal drought of 10 international games by scoring a beautiful winner as Les Blues secured a well-earned 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in their second UEFA Nations League match. 

Didier Deschamps retained the same lineup that produced a goalless draw against Germany on Thursday, a token of his will to cap France‘s return with a triumph. The game began with a stirring rendition of La Marseillaise, the French National anthem as France played their first home game since lifting the World Cup in July.

Kylian Mbappe tested the reflexes of Jasper Cillessen early in the game but failed to find the net. However, the 19-year-old opened the scoring in the 13th minute, right after a mistake from Netherlands midfielder Quincy Promes. His header went straight to Blaise Matuidi, who provided a tame pass to the young forward who then converted comfortably.

The Netherlands leveled the score in the 66th minute with their only genuine shot on target as former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel guided the ball into the net off his knee from a well-driven Kenny Tete cross after a swift break down the right wing from the fullback. It was his first goal in a competitive international since he scored on his debut against Romania in a World Cup qualifier 13 years ago. 

It seemed as if the Dutch had found their long-lost fighting spirit. But, Olivier Giroud had other plans as he muscled ahead of Virgil Van Dijk and executed a magnificent volley from Benjamin Mendy‘s cross to score the winner in the 75th minute. This goal took his international goal tally to 32, past the legendary Zinedine Zidane on France’s all-time scorers’ list.

The Netherlands now prepare to face Germany on 14th October in their next UEFA Nations League fixture.

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