The world champions France have found their way past Ivory Coast despite playing nowhere near their best.
Les Bleus always looked the more likely victors in this match but were drifting towards a draw against the plucky Ivorians until Tchouameni popped up to score the winner in injury time.
Ivory Coast worked hard and deserved what would have been a creditable result.
IVORY COAST (4-3-3): Badra Ali Sangare;
Serge Aurier (c), Willy Boly, Eric Bailly, Ghislain Konan;
Ibrahim Sangare, Franck Kessie, Jean Michael Seri;
Wilfried Zaha, Sebastien Haller, Nicolas Pepe.
FRANCE (3-4-1-2): Hugo Lloris (c);
Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez;
Kingsley Coman, Aurelien Tchouameni, Paul Pogba, Theo Hernandez;
Antoine Griezmann; Christopher Nkunku, Olivier Giroud.
GOAL! FRANCE 0-1 IVORY COAST! Pepe gives Ivory Coast the lead! It’s a simple goal created by Ibrahim Sangare from an Ivorian throw-in. The Arsenal man gets in behind Theo Hernandez, beats Theo’s brother Lucas Hernandez to the right of the box, and fires in off the near post.
GOAL! FRANCE 1-1 IVORY COAST! France hit back almost immediately! Theo Hernandez’s lashed Badra Ali Sangare saves shot in the Ivorian goal. The ball comes back to France’s left wing-back, who picks out Giroud with a lovely cross. The AC Milan forward can’t fail to finish with a header from close range.
GOAL! FRANCE 2-1 IVORY COAST! Tchouameni steals the win for France at the death! The Monaco midfielder rises high to reach Guendouzi’s corner and nod into the bottom right corner of the net! He’s completely unmarked. Ivory Coast will feel sick.
So, what’s next for France and Ivory Coast?
France faces South Africa in another friendly at Stade Pierre-Mauroy next, while Ivory Coast head to London to face England at Wembley. This match may not live long in the memory, but it was fun while lasted.
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