International friendlies – France vs Ivory Coast: France welcomed Ivory Coast for a friendly fixture to the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.
The contest was more closely fought than most would have expected. With the visitors opening the scoring through Pepe in the 19th minute. However, France’s all-time top scorer, Giroud equalised in the 22nd minute.
The evenly contested fixture was heading towards a draw. However, Monaco midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni found the winner in the dying moments of the game. Thus, the contest concluded 2-1 in the hosts’ favour.
International friendlies – France vs Ivory Coast: Match report
Full-time score: France 2-1 Ivory Coast
Man of the match – Theo Hernandez (France).
France Starting XI: Hugo Lloris; Jules Koundé, Raphaël Varane, Lucas Hernández, Theo Hernández ; Kinsgley Coman, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Paul Pogba; Antoine Griezmann, Christopher Nkunku, Olivier Giroud.
Subs: 16. Mike Maignan (GK), 23. Alphonse Aréola (GK), 02. William Saliba, 03. Presnel Kimpembe, 10. Kylian Mbappé, 14. Adrien Rabiot, 15. Jonathan Clauss, 17. Matteo Guendouzi, 18. Lucas Digne, 19. Wissam Ben Yedder, 20. Moussa Diaby.
Ratings: Lloris 7, Varane 6, Kounde 6, Hernandez L 6, Coman 6, Hernandez T 7, Pogba 6, Tchouameni 7, Griezmann 6, Giroud 7, Nkunku 6. Subs: Saliba 6, Guendouzi 7, Ben Yedder 6, Clauss 6, Rabiot 6.
Scorers: Giroud 22’, Tchouaméni 90+3’.
Ivory Coast Starting XI: Badra Ali Sangaré, Serge Aurier, Willy Boly ,Eric Bailly, Ghislain Konan, Ibrahim Sangaré, Franck Kessié, Jean Michaël Seri, Wilfried Zaha, Sébastien Haller, Nicolas Pépé.
Subs: 01. Abdoul Karim Cisse (GK), 16. Mohamed Koné (GK), 05. Emmanuel Agbadou, 07. Odilon Kossounou, 10. Jean Evrard Kouassi, 11. Maxwel Cornet, 12. Fousseny Coulibaly, 14. Hassane Kamara, 15. Max Gradel, 20. Paul Akoukou, 25. Karim Konaté, 27. Simon Deli.
Ratings: Sangare B 6, Konan 6, Bailly 6, Boly 6, Aurier 6, Seri 6, Kessie 6, Sangare I 6, Pepe 7, Zaha 5, Haller 5. Subs: Kossounou 6, Akouokou 6, Cornet 6, Gradel 6, Konate 6.
Scorer: Pepe 19’.
Post match reactions
France head coach, Didier Deschamps: “He (Tchouaméni) did what he does with his club. He always has this quality of scoring, especially in the air. Of course, it made him happy.
“He returned to the group, which he knows well, and it was all the better for us.
“When we have friendlies we must take advantage of them. There will be a second on Tuesday [against South Africa], so I will make changes to distribute the playing time to the maximum number of players.”
France’s midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni: “It’s the fruit of my labour. I hope to remain calm. It’s beautiful what’s happening to me, but I have goals. Scoring my first goal was one, so now we move onto something else.
“The team and the staff really help me show my personality on the pitch and that’s what makes me feel great on the pitch.
“In the first half, we attacked a lot and Ivory Coast had the opportunity to break through on the counter. We tightened the screws in the second half and I don’t think we even conceded a single chance.
“At the end we were rewarded, and that’s good.”