June 13, 2024

Captain Mbappe strikes twice as France crush the Netherlands

Captain Mbappe strikes twice as France crush the Netherlands
Mbappe

"It's great," said Mbappe. "We didn't want to concede a goal so everyone is happy.

New France captain Kylian Mbappe lived up to expectations with two goals in a 4-0 statement home win against a virus ravaged Netherlands as Les Bleus got their Euro 2024 Group B qualifying campaign started in ruthless fashion on Friday.

Mbappe, named skipper after Hugo Lloris ended his international career in January, set up Antoine Griezmann for the opener before scoring the third, after Dayot Upamecano had doubled the tally in a first-half blitz, before wrapping the scoring up late in front of an ecstatic crowd.

Mike Maignan, the number one goalkeeper since Lloris stepped aside, then saved Memphis Depay's stoppage-time penalty.


With influential centre back Raphael Varane also now out of the international picture, France aimed to impress the fans in their first game since losing the World Cup final against Argentina on penalties in December and did just that against a virus-hit Dutch side under their newly-appointed manager.

The result was a slap in the face for Ronald Koeman in charge of his first match since he took over from Louis van Gaal, after the Oranje reached the World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar, for his second stint after a first spell from 2018-2020.

"It's great," said Mbappe. "We didn't want to concede a goal so everyone is happy. Mike doesn't like to concede goals and for his first time as number one he got a clean sheet.

"We're all behind him. We prepared ourselves saying we couldn't disappoint the fans for this first game here after the World Cup."

France lead Group B ahead of Greece, who beat Gibraltar 3-0 away. Didier Deschamps's side next face Ireland in Dublin on Monday while the Netherlands host Gibraltar.