thumbnail Hello,


  • 15 November 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de France, Paris
  • Referee: César Muñiz Fernández

France 0-0 Belgium: Laurent Blanc's side frustrated as they fail to break down resolute visitors

France 0-0 Belgium: Laurent Blanc's side frustrated as they fail to break down resolute visitors


Excitement was in short supply in Paris, with both defences in dominant form as these two European sides played out a friendly draw

Honours finished even in a rather unsatisfying friendly encounter between France and Belgium, which failed to produce a goal at the Stade de France.

The home side offered the more frequent offensive threat, but were well stifled for long periods of the game by opponents who were exceptionally disciplined and very quick to channel large numbers of players behind the ball.

Against the run of play it was the Belgians who had the first meaningful effort of the game, as Daniel Van Buyten flicked a near-post header against the outside of Hugo Lloris’ near post.

France regularly tried to be too intricate around the box, so debutant goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had few shots to worry about throughout. His first test was to hold a long range Yohan Cabaye effort that was not struck decisively enough to cause trouble.

Franck Ribery was the hosts’ outstanding player in the first half, and mustered arguably les Bleus’ two best efforts of the opening period.

Running down the left channel, the winger had an effort from a tough angle comfortably saved by Courtois. However, the young Belgian was stretched a little more when the same player next cut inside and bent a shot towards the far corner.

Tricky | Ribery was the hosts' greatest threat

Early in the second half, Maxime Gonalons, who had replaced the injured Yann M’Vila before half time, fired a shot from well outside the box a foot over the top, and Cabaye would go similarly close just before the hour mark.

Openings were infrequent, though, and any slip at the back might have cost the hosts. A moment of great skill from Eden Hazard on the left created an opening for Marouane Fellaini, but the Everton man shot into the side netting.

Then, 15 minutes later, Lloris was forced to make a fine double-save from Kevin Mirallas after the home defence had woefully failed to defend a long throw.

In the meantime Benzema really should have struck for France, but allowed his headed attempt to slide off his forehead and wide.

Towards the end of the match, the home side were invigorated by the talents of Jeremy Menez, who injected flair and urgency into their offensive play, but the overall performance from both sides was rather flat, with defences dominating, leading inevitably to a scoreless draw.

Follow international football LIVE on
Commentaries, Stats, Player Ratings and much more,
Visit Live Scores!