France win UEFA Nations League with Mbappe goal

France team with the UEFA Nations League cup

France team with the UEFA Nations League cup

World Cup champions, France have won the UEFA Nations League, edging Spain 2-1, in a tense, but thrilling final at the San Siro Stadium in Milan.

Spain were dominant in the two halves, winning 60 percent of possession, but France found a way to beat them.

Just when Spain were rejoicing after Oyarzabal gave them the lead in the 64th minute, Benzema produced a magical shot in the 66th to cancel the advantage.

Fourteen minutes after, Kylian Mbappe latching on a clinical pass by Theo Hernandez, rounded up the keeper to slot in the winner, albeit a controversial winner.

Mbappe and Benzema won the trophy for France
Mbappe and Benzema won the trophy for France
Captain Hugo Lloris wins another trophy with France
Captain Hugo Lloris wins another trophy with France
Pogba flaunts medal
Griezmann and Mbappe after the match

Replays showed Mbappe was some fraction offside, sandwiched in between defenders, but the centre referee Anthony Taylor allowed the goal to stand.

Didier Deschamps side had struggled to get a foothold in the game but Mikel Oyarzabal’s strike woke them up.

With Paul Pogba excellent in midfield, Mbappe’s speed and movement stretching Spain and Benzema a constant threat, the French were good value for their victory.

Luis Enrique’s young Spain side, who had beaten European champions Italy in the semi-finals, had played their trademark possession football with patience and precision but in the end could not compensate for the absence of a genuine striker.

Related News

The first half was a relatively subdued affair with Spain moving the ball well but without dangerous penetration while France were disrupted by the loss to injury of centre-half Raphael Varane.

But both sides were awoken after the break when France full-back Theo Hernandez thundered a shot against the underside of the bar after a swift break.

Spain responded to that warning in clinical fashion, taking the lead when Oyarzabal latched on to a long pass from Sergio Busquets, held off Dayot Upamecano and fired into the bottom corner.

The French response was swift, however, with Mbappe finding Benzema who cut inside before unleashing a brilliant curling shot into the far corner to make it 1-1.

Mbappe then grabbed the winner, 10 minutes from the end, racing on to a through ball from Hernandez and keeping his cool to slot past Unai Simon.

Spain protested that Mbappe was offside when he received the ball but the VAR check found a slight touch from defender Eric Garcia had played the France striker onside.

France had keeper Hugo Lloris to thank for two late saves as Deschamps’s side held on for the victory against intense Spanish pressure.

Lloris got down well to keep out a low shot from Oyarzabal in the 89th minute and then in stoppage time he reacted superbly to parry a strike from substitute Yeremi Pino.

Load more