France’s Antoine Griezmann (front) celebrates his goal with Kylian Mbappe during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualification match between France and the Netherlands in Paris, France, on March 24, 2023.
France’s Antoine Griezmann (1st R) celebrates his goal during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualification match between France and the Netherlands in Paris, France, on March 24, 2023.
France’s Dayot Upamecano (1st L) scores during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualification match between France and the Netherlands in Paris, France, March 24, 2023.
New France captain Kylian Mbappe lived up to expectations with two goals in a 4-0 statement home win against the Netherlands as Les Bleus got their Euro 2024 Group B qualifying campaign started in ruthless fashion on Friday.
Mbappe, named skipper after goalkeeper 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.
With Lloris and also influential center-back Raphael Varane now out of the international picture, France was looking to impress in their first game since losing the World Cup final against Argentina last 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 quarterfinals 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 leads 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.