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France win over Finland in World Cup qualifiers

Antoine Griezmann’s double gave France a 2-0 win over Finland in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup football match on Tuesday and ended a five-match winning streak for the World Cup holders. The 30-year-old striker from Atletico Madrid equaled Michel Platini in 41 goals for his country – 10 behind all-time leader Thierry Henry and five behind Olivier Giroud.

Three points saw France extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points over the Finns, who have two games in hand. France built up the pressure in the first 10 minutes and forced some corners, while debutante Theo Hernandez came close with a shot from outside the box. Although the hosts had several attacking intentions – Karim Benzema in partnership with Anthony Martial, with Griezmann behind him – the Frenchman was dangerously erratic in the opening round.

Paul Pogba put Deschamps ahead 14 minutes into the game as he was set up with a ball coming from the left, but his shot hit the post. The French defense also attacked six and seven each time in the first half. Benzema forced the first defense of the match in the 22nd minute, his fierce shot being turned in the corner by Finnish stop Lukas Herdecky after 1-2 with Griezmann, who moved back to Atlético on loan from Barcelona in the summer transfer window.

Benzema turned to a supplier three minutes later with a beautiful wheel to free Griezmann inside the box. Griezmann made no mistake and was rewarded with a hug from Deschamps and a slap on the back. Atletico Madrid loanee scored 41 for his country when he beat Lukáš Hrádecký in the 54th minute to strike it 2–0. 

The 30-year-old should have hit his hat-trick while the clock was ticking after another sublime affair with Benzema, but his curling effort went over the bar. Watch football highlights of France win over Finland in the World Cup qualifiers.

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