France recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Gibraltar in a Euro 2024 qualification match on Tuesday, as Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe and an own goal gave the former world champions a routine victory.
France wasted no time in opening the scoring, as Giroud headed home Coman’s cross from close range in the third minute. The Chelsea striker, who is France’s second-highest scorer of all time, netted his 47th international goal.
Gibraltar, who are ranked 195th in the world, defended bravely and frustrated France for most of the first half. They even had a chance to equalize when Ayoub El Hmidi tried to catch Brice Samba off his line with a long-range shot, but the ball flew just over the bar.
France dominated possession and created several chances, but they were denied by the woodwork twice. Aurelien Tchouameni hit the bar with a header from Griezmann’s corner, and Eduardo Camavinga also rattled the frame of the goal with a volley from outside the box.
The hosts finally doubled their lead in stoppage time of the first half, when Mbappe converted a penalty after a handball by Gibraltar defender Aymen Mouelhi. The PSG star sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and scored his 19th goal for France.
The second half was more of the same, as France controlled the game and Gibraltar tried to limit the damage. Mbappe was involved in the third goal, as he sprinted down the left wing and sent a low cross into the box. Mouelhi, who had conceded the penalty earlier, tried to clear the ball but ended up diverting it into his own net.
Deschamps made several substitutions in the second half, giving debuts to Wesley Fofana, Ibrahima Konate and Randal Kolo Muani. However, none of them made much of an impact, as France failed to add to their tally.
Tchouameni hit the bar again with another header from a corner, and Axel Disasi also struck the woodwork with a late effort. Gibraltar goalkeeper Dayle Coleing made some good saves to keep the scoreline respectable.
France will be happy with the win and the clean sheet, but they will know that they need to improve their finishing and creativity against tougher opponents. Gibraltar will take some pride from their spirited performance and their ability to frustrate France for long periods.
The match was played at Stade de France in front of 50,000 fans, who gave a warm applause to both teams at the final whistle.