Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba played crucial roles in securing a draw for 10-man France against Bosnia & Herzegovina in a World Cup qualifier.
France played out a controversial, yet exciting 1-1 draw against Bosnia & Herzegovina to maintain their lead in Group D. The point maintained their lead at four points over second-placed Ukraine, who only managed a draw against Kazhakstan.
At one point, Bosnia looked to have overpowered France and were heading towards their first international win since November 2019. Edin Dzeko had given the visitors the lead in the 36th minute. The new Inter Milan striker turned from hero to villain in a span of three minutes as he crucially gave the ball away to Antoine Griezmann to level.
The game had its turning point in the 51st minute when Jules Kounde was red-carded for a harsh challenge on Sead Kolasinac, resulting in the left-back leaving the pitch in what now looks like a serious injury. Despite their numerical advantage, Bosnia failed to retain the ball or create any solid chances.
It was France who showed resilience and managed to create more than enough chances despite being a man short. The home side even came close to scoring and turning the game on its head, although eventually, they settled for a draw, where a few players displayed the courage and see out the match. Here’s how France players fared during their 1-1 draw with Bosnia.
Hugo Lloris: 5.5/10
A decent outing for Lloris, who made some routine stops throughout the game, although he was never really tested apart from a Miralem Pjanic free-kick. Despite a recent run of good form, Lloris was well beaten for Dzeko’s opener.
Jules Kounde: 2.5/10
Kounde had an off-night right from the start as he failed to get to grips with the pace of the game. His frustration capitulated when he lunged dangerously at Kolasinac resulting in a red card and a one-man advantage for the visitors.
Jules Kounde sees red after a tackle that forces Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac off injured 🔴 pic.twitter.com/k3ekFfK5co
— Goal News (@GoalNews) September 1, 2021
Raphael Varane: 7/10
Varane’s experience was evident as he marshalled the backline through difficult periods, especially when France were a man down. Assured in possession, the Manchester United defender barely misplaced a pass all evening.
Presnel Kimpembe: 6/10
Kimpembe, much like Varane held his ground and displayed an assurance on the ball to give his side the base. An extremely reliable performance from the PSG defender.
Lucas Digne: 6/10
Defensively there can be no complaints about Digne’s performance on the evening, as he won most of the duels he contested on the ground and air. However, his crossing was a bit off and his attacking game was very limited.
Paul Pogba: 7/10
Pogba seems to have carried his club form into the international break, as he emerged as the best creator of the game. Constantly laying inch-perfect passes for his teammates, the Manchester United star was a real creative outlet.
Jordan Veretout: 5/10
Veretout struggled on his France debut as he failed to contain the threat of Miralem Pjanic in midfield. Picked up a yellow in the first half, and was duly replaced by Deschamps at half-time to avoid a second booking.
Thomas Lemar: 3.5/10
Lemar’s inconsistent form for club and country continued in what was a sloppy display. His clumsy pass resulted in Dzeko’s opener, and Deschamps took him off at half-time.
Antoine Griezmann: 7/10
📊| Antoine Griezmann’s stats vs Bosnia and Herzegovina:
▫️6/6 Long Balls
▫️93% Pass Accuracy
▫️4/7 Ground Duels won
Solid Performance pic.twitter.com/dUvJgDZa6Z
— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) September 1, 2021
Griezmann failed to create notable chances nor was he provided with chances. However, the new Atletico Madrid signing proved crucial in finding the equaliser, although many would suggest it was a lucky goal for him.
Karim Benzema: 6.5/10
Benzema continued his integration back in the French side and led the line well. Made a few chances for wide runners, and played two key passes during the game.
Kylian Mbappe: 4.5/10
Mbappe’s scrappy form for France continued against Bosnia, as the striker was wasteful for most periods. Barring a few good runs that tested and stretched the opposition defence, the forward was limited in his game. Additionally, he failed to combine with either Griezmann or Benzema during the evening.
Aurelien Tchouameni: 7/10
Tchouameni replaced the ineffective Lemar and instantly improved France. A fantastic debut for the midfielder, whose control of cental areas gave Pogba more freedom to create further forward.
Leo Dubois: 6/10
Dubois turned out to be a decent substitution as France wanted control over the game following Kounde’s red card.
Kingsley Coman: 4/10
Deschamps sent Coman to improve his team’s chances of snatching something late, but he failed to inspire a winner.
Anthony Martial: 4/10
Having replaced Olivier Giroud in the squad, there is some expectation on Martial’s shoulders at the international level. A late free-kick conceded by him could have proved to be fatal.
Moussa Diaby: 5/10
Diaby made his debut after coming off the bench, as the match entered a more uneventful phase. Did not really make an impact late on.