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Kazakhstan 0-2 France: Les Bleus Player Ratings as world champions secure easy victory | 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 

France defeated Kazakhstan away from home.
France defeated Kazakhstan away from home.
Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Modified 29 Mar 2021
Feature

An Ousmane Dembele strike and a Sergiy Maliy own goal in the first half helped France to a 2-0 victory over Kazakhstan in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Didier Deschamps named a totally changed lineup to the side that drew with Ukraine on Wednesday. Antoine Griezmann and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris were the only ones to retain their starting spots.

Despite the wholesale change, France wasted little time in asserting their dominance on the proceedings. Paul Pogba played a key role in ensuring that the visitors held the lion's share of possession in the game's opening exchanges.

France went ahead in the 19th minute when Anthony Martial's pass into space found Ousmane Dembele, whose well-taken shot nestled in the bottom corner.

The reigning world champions continued to dominate proceedings but failed to truly test Aleksandr Mokin as a resolute Kazakhstan defence kept their more illustrious opponents at bay.

Just when it seemed like France would go into the break with just a one-goal lead, Sergiy Maliy scored at the wrong end to put the visitors two goals up.

Antoine Griezmann had the ball in the back of the net right at the start of the second half, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside. Anthony Martial was next to go close, but a last-ditch tackle prevented the Manchester United man from shooting at goal as he went down clutching at his ankle.

Deschamps made three changes on the hour mark, with Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Martial making way for Kylian Mbappe, Wissam Ben Yedder and Adrien Rabiot, respectively.

France forced Mokin into fine saves through Dembele and Mbappe before the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 75th minute. Mbappe showed great skill to dribble across the Kazakh defence before Aleksei Kulbakov brought him down just when he looked primed to shoot.

The PSG forward dusted himself off to take the resultant spot-kick, but Mokin dived low to his left to keep out the penalty.

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There were shouts for a second penalty when Moussa Sissoko went down in the area, but the referee waved play on.

Nevertheless, the victory sees the world champions register their first victory on the road to Qatar as they climb to the top of their qualifying group. Kazakhstan, meanwhile, remain bottom of Group D.

On that note, let's have a look at the ratings of France players in the game.

Hugo Lloris - 6.5/10

Hugo Lloris was untroubled in the France goal.
Hugo Lloris was untroubled in the France goal.

Hugo Lloris was practically a spectator in the France goal and was not called into action throughout the game.


Lucas Digne - 7/10

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With Kazakhstan not offering anything from an attacking perspective, Lucas Digne did not have to worry about defensive duties as he played his part in providing width in attack. Digne created some notable chances from his set-piece deliveries.


Kurt Zouma - 6.5/10

Kurt Zouma was not troubled at the heart of the France defence. He offered a decent threat in attacking set-pieces and had a game-high pass accuracy of 95.7%.


Clement Lenglet - 7/10

Like Zouma, Clement Lenglet had a field day at the back for France. He forced Mokin into a point-blank save off a header in the second half.


Leo Dubois - 6.5/10

Leo Dubois did not pose as much of an attacking threat as his fellow full-back Digne. He, however, sent some fine deliveries into the area, one of which Dembele headed on target.


Paul Pogba - 7.5/10

Paul Pogba was impressive in the one hour he spent on the field, with his distribution and physicality helping France dominate proceedings. Sporting a cast on his right hand, the Manchester United man played a role in France's second goal by applying pressure on Maliy to turn into his own net.


Tanguy Ndombele - 6.5/10

Tanguy Ndombele was efficient in his ball distribution and recoveries. He did not do anything extraordinary in the 82 minutes he spent on the field.


Anthony Martial - 7.5/10

Anthony Martial had a hand in both goals, providing the assist for Dembele's opener and winning the corner from which the second was scored. He showed slight signs of discomfort before his substitution.


Antoine Griezmann - 6.5/10

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Antoine Griezmann, surprisingly, had minimal impact on the game. He delivered the corner kick from which the own goal was scored and had a goal of his own ruled out for offside at the start of the second half.


Thomas Lemar - 7/10

Thomas Lemar created two chances for his teammates and played a role in keeping the hosts on the backfoot.


Ousmane Dembele - 8/10

Ousmane Dembele led the line for France, where he continued his fine run of form with a well-taken goal. He had an excellent chance to score a second but headed straight at Mokin. Dembele was shown a caution for a reckless challenge late in the game, though.

Ratings of France substitutes

Kylian Mbappe - 4/10

Kylian Mbappe was a bright spark in the 30 minutes he spent on the field. He had three shots in the game, with all of them hitting the target. Mbappe won a penalty 15 minutes after coming on but squandered the opportunity.


Wissam Ben Yedder - 6/10

Wissam Ben Yedder had a pass accuracy of 83.3% in his 30 minutes on the field. He also created one chance.


Adrien Rabiot - 6.5/10

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot forced Mokol into a smart save from an acute angle late in the game and had a pass accuracy of 90%.


Moussa Sissoko - 5.5/10

Moussa Sissoko was on the field for just eight minutes, and his only contribution was a half-hearted penalty appeal in injury time.

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Kingsley Coman - 5/10

Kingsley Coman came on in the 90th minute but created a chance for Kylian Mbappe, which was well-saved by Kazakhstan's Mokin.

Published 28 Mar 2021, 21:34 IST
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