Website: http://www.goal.com/en-gb/match/79917/france-vs-iceland/report Posted as Individual.
Laurent Blanc’s men trailed deep into the match, but the introduction of Olivier Giroud inspired his team to a win in their first warm-up game ahead of Euro 2012
With Germany losing 5-3 to Switzerland and Holland going down 2-1 to Bulgaria in other friendlies on Saturday, France looked likely to fall to another a shock loss when Iceland moved 2-0 ahead at the break at the Stade du Hainaut.
Birkir Bjarnason managed to get away from Philippe Mexes and Patrice Evra to thump a volley into the net on 28 minutes before Sigthorsson slid in to convert the second goal on 34 minutes from Rurik Gislason’s ball.
France were booed off the park, but emerged looking a whole lot more sprightly in the second period with Mathieu Debuchy converting from close range on 52 minutes after Karim Benzema’s shot was blocked.
France finally equalised after a sustained bout of pressure when Franck Ribery combined superbly with fellow substitute Olivier Giroud to lift the ball over Hannes Thor Halldorsson on 85 minutes before Adil Rami slammed a volley into the net for the winner on 87 minutes from Giroud’s cushioned header.
Read full story on gaol.com http://www.goal.com/en-gb/match/79917/france-vs-iceland/report
France 3 vs 2 Iceland
28′ B. Bjarnason (ISL)
34′ K. Sigthórsson (ISL)
52′ M. Debuchy (FRA)
85′ F. Ribéry (FRA)
87′ A. Rami (FRA)
Played May 28, 2012 20:00 CET
Stade du Hainaut — Valenciennes
Referee: S. Delferière
Laurent Blanc Coach
Steve Mandanda Goalkeeper
Defenders: Adil Rami Defender, Mathieu Debuchy, Patrice Evra, Philippe Mexes
Midfielders: Jérémy Menez, Samir Nasri, Yohan Cabaye, Yoann Gourcuff
Strikers: Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema
Midfielders: Alou Diarra, Florent Malouda, Marvin Martin, Mathieu Valbuena, Franck Ribéry
Olivier Giroud Striker
Lars Lagerback Coach
Hannes Thór Halldórsson Goalkeeper
Defenders: Hallgrímur Jónasson, Hjörtur Logi Valgardsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson
Midfielders: Aron Einar Gunnarsson, Eggert Jonsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Kari Arnason, Birkir Bjarnason
Striker: Kolbeinn Sigthórsson
Midfielders: Eyjólfur Hédinsson, Ari Freyr Skúlason, Helgi Valur Danielsson, Johann Gudmundsson
Ahead of the game
France’s Les Bleus
Les Bleus begin Euro 2012 preparation with friendly against the Nordic nation.
Laurent Blanc’s men begin their final preparations for this summer’s tournament with a friendly against Iceland in Valenciennes, with wholesale changes expected.
France coach Laurent Blanc has admitted that Sunday’s friendly match against Iceland is an opportunity for the fringe players in his preliminary squad to stake their claim in France’s 23-man final squad for this summer’s European Championship.
France are undefeated in 18 games, and were last beaten by Belarus in September 2010 in their first competitive game under Laurent Blanc.
Iceland, under new coach Lars Lagerback, are liable to keep much of the side who lost both of their February friendlies against Japan and Montenegro, with Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson being the star attraction.
They netted three against Portugal in their final Euro 2012 qualifier, ultimately losing 5-3.
Iceland’s previous game against Les Bleus ended in a 3-2 defeat in October 1999. David Trezeguet scored the winner for the hosts.
Valenciennes is a commune in the Nord department in northern France. It lies on the Scheldt river. Although the city and region had seen a steady decline between 1975 and 1990, it has since rebounded. Wikipedia
Valenciennes Football Club is a French association football club based in Valenciennes. The club was founded in 1913 and currently play in Ligue 1, the top level of French football. Wikipedia
Stade du Hainaut is a multi-use stadium in Valenciennes, France. It is used mostly for football matches and hosts the home matches of Valenciennes FC. It has replaced the Stade Nungesser as VAFC’s home stadium. Wikipedia