France vs South Africa – Football Match Report – 29 March 2022
France extended their winning streak to seven matches as Kylian Mbappe and record holder Olivier Giroud scored in a 5-0 win over South Africa in a friendly on Tuesday.
The world champions, who have not lost since being eliminated from the European Championship in the round of 16 by Switzerland on penalties last year, have never been worried by a team that they had not faced each other since the 2010 World Cup.
That year, France exited the final after an infamous off-field collapse in which players went on strike, but Didier Deschamps’ side looked very professional on Tuesday with Wissam Ben Yedder and Matteo Guendouzi adding late goals.
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South Africa finished with 10 men after Khuliso Mudau was shown a red card for a fierce challenge on Lucas Digne with six minutes remaining at Lille’s Pierre Mauroy stadium.
“It was a good performance and we could have scored more,” said Deschamps, who gave Marseille defender William Saliba and Lens winger Jonathan Clauss the first starts.
“It was important to give some players experience, especially with the Nations League coming up in June.”
Mbappe, who missed their 2-1 win over Ivory Coast with an ENT infection, was back in the starting line-up alongside Giroud while midfielder N’golo Kante also returned after jumping out last Friday’s game for personal reasons.
France got off to a good start, with Giroud’s header deflected over the bar by Ronwen Williams after five minutes.
Mbappé put Blues ahead in the 23rd minute when he curled a fine shot into the top corner from the edge of the box after being set up by Antoine Griezmann.
Giroud doubled the score 10 minutes later with a low cross shot from inside the box following a fine combination between Mbappe and Griezmann.
It was Giroud’s 48th goal for France on his 112th appearance, leaving him three short of Thierry Henry’s all-time record in France as the AC Milan striker took advantage of the absence of Karim Benzema, injured.
Mbappe will finally hope to be on the heels of Giroud after scoring his 26th goal in 54 internationals with a 76th-minute penalty after being knocked down by Siyanda Xulu.
“[The scoring record] is a goal. I always wanted to be the first. Nationally and with my club,” Mbappe said. “What is Titi [Henry] did it, nobody did it but it can happen and sooner than you think.”
Ben Yedder added a fourth from close range and Guendouzi added salt to the visitors’ wounds with a superb curling effort in added time.