Wasteful France squeeze past Costa Rica 2-1

09:50, May 28, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Newcomer Mathieu Valbuena enjoyed a dream first run out for his country by bagging the decisive goal in France's 2-1 World Cup warm-up win over Costa Rica at Lens on Wednesday.

The 1998 world champions and 2006 beaten finalists enjoyed large chunks of possession but sterile finishing cost them dearly until Valbuena produced the late winner.

Coach Raymond Domenech elected to start Arsenal central defender William Gallas and Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka, at the expense of Thierry Henry, with Steve Mandanda replacing No 1 keeper Hugo Lloris in goal.

For Gallas this warm-up represented a searching test of his recovery from a calf injury that has kept him sidelined since March.

In Henry's absence the captain's armband was worn by Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Franck Ribery, suspended for his club Bayern Munich's Champions League final defeat to Inter Milan last weekend, also figured in Domenech's starting XI.

Domenech, who steps down after a roller-coaster spell as manager of France after the World Cup, was booed by some sections of the fans when his name was announced before kickoff in his last game in charge of Les Bleus on French soil.

Domenech made three changes at the start of the second half - introducing Henry (for Anelka), Alou Diarra (Toulalan) and Sebastien Squillaci (Gallas).

There was a moment of concern for the lively Ribery after the hour mark when he crumbled to the floor clutching his right ankle after an over-zealous tackle by Pablo Barrantes.

After watching Ribery rise unscathed Domenech then replaced Sydney Govou with Marseille winger Valbuena, and he had the Costa Rican defense in a panic with his very first touch of the ball.

The pocket-sized player then ensured he would remember his first game for his country for years to come when he bagged France's winner, a right-footed hammerblow after being set up by late substitute Abou Diaby, with seven minutes left.

Domenech praised the desire and motivation displayed by his side.

"That's what we want to see all the time. at least they are trying things, and want to achieve something. They know it's this group of 23 that is going (to South Africa) - they know they'll be doing it together. They have confidence in each other...but this was only a warm-up, the World Cup only begins on June 11."

France's remaining warm-up fixtures before the World Cup are an away date against Tunisia on May 30 and against China in Reunion on June 4.

They open their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on June 11.

Source:China Daily

(Editor:intern1)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows what is believed to be human jawbone found inside a mass grave near Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya, Spet. 27, 2011. The NTC on Sunday said they had found a mass grave containing the bodies of 1,270 people killed by Gaddafi's security forces in a 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison in southern Tripoli. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
  • Rescue workers and local residents search for survivors after a building collapsed in old Delhi, India, Sept. 27, 2011. At least 10 people were killed and 35 injured when an old three-storey building collapsed. More than a dozen people are still feared trapped under the debris, police said. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
  • An Indian artist colours clay idols of Goddess Durga for the upcoming Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, capital of eastern Indian state West Bengal on Sept. 27, 2011. The festival celebrates the homecoming of Mother Goddess Durga and the victory of good over evil, dramatized by the goddess' demolition of the evil buffalo demon, Mahishasura. (Xinhua/Tumpa Mondal)
  • A model presents a creation of new upcoming designer Sergei Grinko at the Milan Fashion Week Women's Wear Spring/Summer 2012 in Milan, northern Italy, Sept. 27, 2011. The Milan fashion week closed on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Wang Qingqin)
  • Yu Guangyao (2nd R), president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Co., Ltd, bows his apology at a press conference on the subway trains collision accident happened Tuesday afternoon, in east China's Shanghai Municipality, Sept. 27, 2011. By 8:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) Tuesday, a total of 271 injured people in the accident have received medical treatment in hospitals, among them 180 have been dispatched. Other 61 injured people are still in hospital, in which 30 are under emergency observations. No critical injuries have been reported. (Xinhua/Chen Fei)
Hot Forum Discussion