France fly towards Euro 2024 qualification with Ireland win

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France fly towards Euro 2024 qualification with Ireland win
Aurelien Tchouameni scored a brilliant opening goal for France
Aurelien Tchouameni scored a brilliant opening goal for France
AFP
France continued their 100% winning start to their UEFA European Championship qualifying campaign, as a comfortable 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland at the Parc des Princes made it 12 consecutive Euro qualifying home matches without defeat.

Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu conceded five for club side Southampton in his last match before the international break, and it looked as if he was in for a busy night here in the early stages.

Adrien Rabiot forced him into a sharp stop inside three minutes, while Kylian Mbappe fired over moments later.

There was encouragement to be had for Stephen Kenny’s men in spite of that, as Chiedozie Ogbene’s explosive pace was causing problems for the French backline.

Just as the visitors had stemmed the flow of chances, France showed their incredible quality to open the scoring in sensational fashion.

Aurelien Tchouameni was the recipient of an Mbappe lay-off from the edge of the box, and the Real Madrid man took full advantage of the space he was afforded to unleash a gorgeous 25-yard curler into the corner beyond a sprawling Bazunu.

The Boys in Green were looking to build on a relatively solid first-half display, but old weaknesses haunted them again as they conceded within five minutes of the restart for the third time in four matches.

Marcus Thuram celebrates scoring
AFP

An incisive French move saw John Egan on hand to block an Mbappe effort, but Marcus Thuram was first to the rebound, swivelling brilliantly to score on the turn - his first goal for Les Bleus.

Didier Deschamps’ men were nearly caught cold after doubling their lead, with Ogbene’s back-post header forcing Mike Maignan into a world-class save. From the resulting corner, the Luton Town winger went close again, but Maignan wasn’t required as his left-footed curler sailed over the bar.

That was as good as Ireland could give though, and the French threatened a third strike through Tchouameni, but Bazunu was equal to his long-ranger this time. Ousmane Dembele would rattle the post before Josh Cullen blocked Antoine Griezmann’s goalbound effort.

Key match stats
Flashscore

Luckily for Ireland, France relented, but huge problems remain for Kenny’s men who’ve lost three of their first four qualifiers and have the unenviable task of a meeting with the Netherlands in their next outing as they look to resurrect their campaign.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Aurelien Tchouameni (France)

See all the match stats here.

Other Euro 2024 qualifiers today

The Dutch were on fire against Greece
AFP

In the other Group B fixture of the night, the Netherlands scored three first-half goals to silence Greece early in Eindhoven and that's how it ended.

See all the stats from the match and read a report here.

Current Group B standings
Flashscore

Elsewhere, in Group E, the Czech Republic and Albania played out a 1-1 draw while Poland beat the Faroe Islands 2-0.

In Group G, Lithuania and Montenegro drew 2-2 before Hungary secured a valuable 2-1 win behind closed doors away against Serbia.

In Group H, Kazakhstan lost 1-0 to visitors Finland in the early match before Denmark thumped San Marino 4-0 and Slovenia defeated Northern Ireland 4-2.

See the full group standings here.

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