France 1-1 Turkey: 3 talking points | European Qualifier

France's Olivier Giroud
France's Olivier Giroud

The battle for Group H supremacy in Paris ended with Turkey retaining top spot with a draw against their closest rivals, France.

Les Bleus were dominant throughout the game, as Antoine Griezmann and his cohorts poked and prodded the Turkish defence, looking for a path to the goal. The Crescent Stars were dogged defensively all night until Olivier Giroud came along and gave Didier Deschamps' charges the lead.

Four minutes after coming on as a substitute, Giroud rose higher than the Turkish rear-guard, connecting with Antoine Griezmann's corner kick and sending the ball beyond the reach of Mert Gunok.

Just a few minutes after France's opener, the Turks pulled level, thanks to Kaan Ayhan, as he connected with Hakan Calhanoglu's freekick from close range.

In this article, we discuss a few talking points from the game, with both team's sharing the spoils and continuing their quest for Euro 2020 qualification.

#3 France dominant but wasteful

Antoine Griezmann missed a couple of chances
Antoine Griezmann missed a couple of chances

France was without a host of regulars for this encounter, with the likes of Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, and Aymeric Laporte nursing injuries. However, Les Bleus had enough in their ranks to give the Crescent-Stars a torrid time.

In the first half, Turkey had just one shot, and it wasn't on target. Les Bleus, on the other hand, had 12 shots with 5 on target. Didier Deschamps' men also had more than half the possession at 64 percent. The story was the same in the second half, as Les Bleus continued to work the Turkish defence, however, they had little to show for the dominance. The likes of Antoine Griezmann and Moussa Sissoko flattered to deceive as they missed a couple of chances, failing to adequately trouble Mert Gunok, and thwarted by the shot-stopper as well.

At the end of the game, France had 23 shots with just 9 on target, and 65 percent possession. Meanwhile, the Turks could only muster 5 shots, with their only shot on target the decisive one.

#2 The draw not enough for qualification

French manager, Didier Deschamps
French manager, Didier Deschamps

Before the game, a win for either side or a draw would have been enough for qualification. However, for both teams to qualify with a draw, Iceland had to lose to Andorra. Iceland made the draw irrelevant as they powered past a hapless Andorra side by 2-0, thanks to goals from Anor Siggurdson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.

France will have to wait till November for possible qualification, as they take on Moldova and Albania. Turkey meanwhile will welcome Iceland, the team which inflicted their only defeat in Group H so far.

#1 Olivier Giroud continues to shine for France

Olivier Giroud celebrates
Olivier Giroud celebrates

It was a surprise to see Olivier Giroud on the bench, as Wissam Ben Yedder led the attack for France. However, it was a bad day at the office for Ben Yedder, as he failed to trouble the Turkish defence all night.

Ben Yedder was however hauled off in the 72nd minute, with Giroud as his replacement. The Chelsea forward was an instant hit 4 minutes later as he rose above the sturdy Turkish defence to head the ball home.

Giroud has been having a poor time under Frank Lampard this season, and he finds himself down the pecking other. However, for France, he cannot stop scoring, and he is now the highest goal-getter for France this year.

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Edited by Amar Anand
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