International Friendlies: Olivier Giroud bags a brace for France while USA and Japan secure wins
France cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory in an international friendly against Norway at the Stade de Frane on Tuesday for their warm-up preparation ahead of the 2014 FIFA campaign. Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud found the back of the net twice after Juventus starlet Paul Pogba opened the scoring for the Les Blues with a brilliant flick of the head inside the penalty box. Loic Remy scored the other goal.
However, it was Marseille winger Mathieu Valbuena who stole the spotlight after he set up three of the four goals, providing inch-perfect crosses.
Paul Pogba’s header:
Olivier Giroud’s volley:
On the other hand, Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson clinched the victory for USA with a 2-0 win over Azerbaijan after coming on as substitutes in the second half.
It was Rosenborg BK midfielder Mix Diskerud who stood out as the team’s best player, in spite of being on the pitch for only 20 minutes. The 23-year-old had previously represented the national team on a number of occasions, however, he has yet to cement his starting spot, and this goal will definitely improve his chances, especially since he was donning the No. 10 jersey, the one that was previously worn by USA’s highest goal scorer Landon Donovan.
“It was exactly what we need at this point of our preparation after two fully loaded weeks,” U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters later. “It was a tricky game. You want to open it up with a goal, and it gets easier. You want to score a bit earlier."