Already qualified for Euro 2023 (final phase in Romania and Georgia from June 21 to July 8), by finishing first in its group (8 wins, 2 draws), the France Espoirs team began preparing for this competition with a gala match in Germany, this Friday.
At the MDCC Arena in Magdeburg, Sylvain Ripoll's team first stood up to the German team, winner of the last Euro, before making the difference thanks to the talent of Amine Gouiri.
Rather active at the start of the game, with in particular a good strike from Nantes Quentin Merlin (8th), the Bleuets had difficulty existing offensively afterwards, with an inconstant Georginio Rutter, in particular.
The Caqueret-Koné duo was up to the task in the intense fight in the midfield, and despite a few moments of hesitation, the Fofana-Lukeba pair in the axis of the defense remained impervious, with good control of the crack Youssoufa Moukoko . The Milanese Pierre Kalulu, aligned on the right, was crucial on the first big German opportunity, by removing a boiling ball in front of Luca Netz (41st).
Gouiri unlocks the match, a first for Wahi
Quite inconspicuous in the first period, the neo-Rennes Amine Gouiri unlocked the meeting with a superb shot à la Thierry Henry, a roll from the right into the opposite side netting from the left side of the surface, between two defenders (52nd) .
His 11th goal with the Espoirs, in 22 selections, concluded an action initiated by a climb from Wesley Fofana, and a good relay from Enzo Le Fée. Les Bleuets had a big highlight after half-time, with break attempts from Enzo Le Fée on a free kick (59th) then from Gouiri, again (63rd).
Germany, however, resisted and failed to equalize, when Wesley Fofana threw himself to repel a strike from Tom Krauss (70th). In addition to offering his first cap to Elye Wahi, Ripoll revitalized his attack shortly after the hour mark, injecting Kalimuendo, Cherki and Diop on the lawn.
The technician was able to get answers on the depth of his workforce, yet cut off from some executives mounted in the A (BadiashileCamavinga, Truffled). Illan Meslier saved an attempt by Lazar Samardzic with his foot in the last moments (87th), while Wahi could not score on two occasions. Sylvain Ripoll's group will continue their preparation on Monday against Belgium at the Hainaut stadium in Valenciennes (9 p.m.).