France come from behind to beat Chile in entertaining clash in Marseille

By Sports Desk March 26, 2024

France returned to winning ways after coming from behind and then holding on to beat Chile 3-2 in an entertaining friendly in Marseille.

Youssouf Fofana cancelled out Marcelino Nunez’s early opener for Chile and after Randal Kolo Muani had given France a half-time lead, Olivier Giroud put them 3-1 up before Dario Osorio’s late effort for the South Americans.

France head coach Didier Deschamps’ made nine changes after Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Germany in Lyon and was rewarded with a much-improved display at the Orange Velodrome.

France conceded after just seven seconds against Germany at the weekend and went behind to another early goal when Nunez buried a low angled shot after being picked out in the area by Mauricio Isla’s cut-back.

Les Bleus gradually grew into the game and equalised with their first shot on target in the 18th minute.

Kylian Mbappe teed up Fofana on the edge of the box and the Monaco midfielder’s curled effort took a slight deflection off Chile defender Igor Lichnovsky on its way into the net.

A second goal seven minutes later put France in control. Theo Hernandez crossed from the left and Paris St Germain striker Kolo Muani rose above two Chile defenders to head home his third goal in four international appearances.

Alexis Sanchez, who set a new record of 162 appearance for Chile, teed up Dario Osorio shortly before half-time, but the latter’s shot was just too high.

Mbappe blazed over for France soon after the restart and Giroud’s deflected header was easily held before an end-to-end spell of action.

Chile striker Eduardo Vargas’ fine header from Gabriel Suazo’s cross hit a post and France substitute Jules Kounde lashed a shot narrowly over.

France extended their lead in the 72nd minute as Kolo Muani wriggled free of Lichnovsky’s challenge and crossed low for Giroud to side-foot home his 57th goal for his country.

Osorio set up a grandstand finish by firing a brilliant low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area in the 82nd minute.

And Chile substitute Ben Brereton Diaz was denied by William Saliba’s last-ditch tackle as the Sheffield United striker bore down on goal in an exciting finish.

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