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France vs South Africa LIVE Football Match Score 25 Jul 2021

France vs South Africa LIVE Football Match Score 25 Jul 2021

Both sides desperately need the points on Sunday, as France Under-23s meet South Africa Under-23s in Group A of the Olympic football competition, in Saitama.

Neither coach has a full-strength squad to work with, as the South Africans have been hit by a virus outbreak which forced the team to isolate before their opening defeat to Japan, while Les Bleus are at best a third-string selection of unproven hopefuls and declining veterans.

Pessimism surrounding France’s hopes of reaching the latter stages of this delayed Tokyo 2020 tournament was already widespread, but their collapse in the second half of Thursday’s 4-1 defeat to Mexico laid bare the challenge ahead for a hastily assembled squad.

CONCACAF qualifying winners Mexico took the lead less than two minutes after the break at the Tokyo Stadium, before doubling their advantage in the 55th minute, and though 35-year-old captain Andre-Pierre Gignac – whose last game for the French national team was the Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal – pulled a goal back from the spot, El Tri later added two more for the London 2012 champions.

Sylvain Ripoll‘s team now face a tough task to progress from Group A – with a top-two finish required to make the quarter-finals – so will see victory over crisis-hit South Africa as an absolute must on Sunday.

While France’s gifted young generation has been largely left back at home – as some were on duty at Euro 2020 and others have been summarily withdrawn by their club sides – the former Lorient coach has been forced to draw from Ligue 1’s more modest sides for personnel.

As a result, though veteran striker Gignac and his new teammate at Mexico’s Tigres UNAL, Florian Thauvin, have been called in as overage players, the squad is undoubtedly not a true reflection of the abundant talent available to the reigning world champions.

Ripoll, who could not lead Les Bleuets to the final of either the 2019 or 2021 European Under-21 Championships, now has it all to do if his men are to achieve the sort of success which has been more elusive to the national team at the Olympics than in other major tournaments.

In fact, the only gold medal in France’s long and illustrious history came at the 1984 event and they last qualified in 1996 – perhaps demonstrating their football administrators’ lack of love for the global Games.

CONCACAF qualifying winners Mexico took the lead less than two minutes after the break at the Tokyo Stadium, before doubling their advantage in the 55th minute, and though 35-year-old captain Andre-Pierre Gignac – whose last game for the French national team was the Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal – pulled a goal back from the spot, El Tri later added two more for the London 2012 champions.

While France’s gifted young generation has been largely left back at home – as some were on duty at Euro 2020 and others have been summarily withdrawn by their club sides – the former Lorient coach has been forced to draw from Ligue 1’s more modest sides for personnel.

As a result, though veteran striker Gignac and his new teammate at Mexico’s Tigres UNAL, Florian Thauvin, have been called in as overage players, the squad is undoubtedly not a true reflection of the abundant talent available to the reigning world champions.

The French team was supposed to be one of the favorites in the Olympic football tournament, but the vast majority of players from the original lineup could not come to Tokyo, as their clubs imposed a ban on the event. That’s why Sylvain Ripoll had to hastily adjust the composition, which still turned out to be very interesting names, and Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Tauvin – even stars of world soccer. Alas, in the first match they greatly disappointed their fans, and with them the whole French team, which allowed a devastating defeat against Mexico with a score of 1-4.

 

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