(France-Sweden 4-2) He does not often score Benjamin Pavard (24). But when the Frenchman first clinks, the measurements can be hung in glass and frame.
The Bayern Munich defender scored the World Cup’s most beautiful goal in the World Cup match against Argentina in Russia in 2018. It was his first and it was also nominated for this year’s goal.
Tonight came Pavard’s second. It was not as spectacular, but with the preparation of Marcus Thuram, it truly became one for the memory book. Thuram slalomed with three Swedes in the 16-meter before the ball ended up in Pavard’s legs.
With full control and with a straight wrist, he glued the ball on a full volley down at the post root to the side for a Swedish goalkeeper who did not have time to use gravity.
Thuram – by the way very good against the Swedes – also directed the equalizer to France. After a few fumbles where his legs went like drumsticks, he served Olivier Giroud who scored the 1-1 goal.
23-year-old Thuram (yes, the son of the legendary Lilian Thuram) made his national team debut
, and played his first game from the start tonight.
Sweden opened shock against the reigning world champion at the Stade de France. Already after five minutes, Viktor Claesson scored after passive French defensive play. 10 minutes later it was match again when Giroud hit on his third chance.
The Chelsea striker has now scored nine goals in his last 11 home games for “Les Bleus”.
The tenth – and 44th overall – came one minute after Kylian Mbappé was substituted for Thuram. The substitute showed what he can do when he lifted a streaked innovator-screwed post against Giroud. The 34-year-old plunged forward with youthful courage and headed in the 3-1 score in a duel against Victor Lindelöf.
Substitute Robin Quaison ignited hope for Sweden with his reduction just before the end, but Sweden, who had to have one more goal to save their place in the A-group in the Nations League, did not count.
Kingsley Coman put the nail in the coffin after a hopeless free kick by Dejan Kulusevski in overtime. Goalkeeper Robin Olsen went up in attack, but Kulusevski put the ball right in the legs of a France player. Thus, Coman had more or less freely rented towards goal.
The loss for France means that the Swedes are relegated from Group A in the Nations League. Croatia retains the place, despite the 2-3 loss to Portugal tonight.