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March 5, 2014
• Stade de France, Paris
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 80000
K. Benzema 32'
B. Matuidi 41'
90' + 2'
FULL-TIME: France 2-0 Netherlands
Into the first of two minutes of additional time.
Free-kick for France. Taken poorly, and it strikes the wall. Two minutes left plus stoppage time in Saint-Denis.
Netherlands meanwhile, have two friendlies only - against Ecuador and against Wales before they kick-off their World Cup campaign against Spain, in a re-run of the 2010 final in Salvador.
France's World Cup build-up schedule includes friendlies against Norway (in Paris), Paraguay (in Nice) and Jamaica (in Lille) - ahead of their World Cup opener.
MANGALA! Fine defender, and another fine interception. Has totally kept Van Persie out of the game tonight with a superb block after a neat run from substitute Depay.
It's the Netherlands' first international defeat since August 2012 (v Belgium), and now their third game in a row without victory. Not promising World Cup form.
SUBSTITUTION: France - Moussa Sissoko is on for Paul Pogba.
SUBSTITUTION - France: Olivier Giroud is on for Karim Benzema.
Superb pace from Memphis Depay who gets into the French box with a stunning run. That run leads to him losing the ball, as Mangala gets the ball away eventually.
Digne advances superbly from the left, combining with Ribery. France hold the ball well, as Varane sees the ball towards Ribery, who strikes at goal and is saved.
Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
YELLOW CARD - France: Cabaye. The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is booked for a late challenge on Memphis Depay.
France in control once again, as they break towards goal. Pogba and Matuidi combine, towards Ribery. But the final ball isn't good enough as the Dutch recover.
Vlaar caught in possession as France punish the Dutch with a strong counter attack. Towards Pogba who makes progress into the penalty box, slips, and the chance is over.
SUBSTITUTION - Netherlands: Jean-Paul Boetius off for Memphis Depay.
SUBSTITUTION - Netherlands: Davy Klaassen on for Wesley Sneijder. Another debutant, that's four out of the five in the squad who have made their debuts tonight.
Ouch! Challenge from Martins-Indi on Remy, and the Newcastle forward limps off for treatment. Should be OK though. Netherlands meanwhile are introducing a number of players.
Matuidi finds Ribery, who breezes past Van der Wiel and reciprocates the pass back to the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder. France, however, are forced to retreat inside their own half.
Quiet debut from Antoine Griezmann, though he did have his moments, including a fine connection with Karim Benzema for the goal that was chalked off.
SUBSTITUTION - France: Antoine Griezmann off for Loic Remy.
Offside call denies Van Persie for the Netherlands, as Hugo Lloris watches the ball sail over the net. Entering the final 25 minutes or so in what has been a very routine match for les Bleus. Can the Dutch change that?
Ron Vlaar connects with Van der Wiel down on the right hand side, but Netherlands again forced to remain in their own half as they wait patiently for gaps to open. Sneijder now, as Boetius is fouled by Debuchy.
SUBSTITUTION - France: Mathieu Valbuena off for Franck Ribery.
Past the hour mark at Stade de France, as France maintain their 2-0 advantage. Jordy Clasie meanwhile on the ball, though unsuccessfully attempts to advance.
VARANE! That was a fantastic chance to open his account for les Bleus, but cannot divert the ball into the net!
Valbuena connecting well with his team-mates on the left, though it would make sense to take him off. His club Marseille face an important Ligue 1 clash in less than 48 hours.
Griezmann with a decent chance at the other end, being thwarted by Boetius. Turned in on his left, past Martins Indi, but denied by the attacker who raced back well.
Rare chance for the Netherlands as the ball is drifted towards Robin van Persie, but Porto's Eliaquim Mangala is in a fine position to intercept the ball and send it away from goal.
SUBSTITUTION - Netherlands: Karim Rekik, another debutant, comes on to replace Daley Blind.
Louis van Gaal and assistant Patrick Kluivert watch on, as Netherlands continue to struggle in Paris. Another change on the horizon. A defensive one?
Paul Pogba has gone down clutching his face. Seems to have taken an elbow, and indeed he has, in a jump with Blind and Cillessen. Nevertheless, he will continue!
Another fine ball from the midfield sees Benzema in a bit of space forward, though he is charged down at by Bruno Martins Indi. Finds Digne on the left, whose cross is saved by Cillessen.
SUBSTITUTION - FRANCE: Patrice Evra off for debutant Lucas Digne.
UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF - what can Louis van Gaal's side do to reverse the damage in this second period? One change at the break.
HT: FRA 2-0 NED - a fine first half full of attacking display and endeavour from Deschamps' men. Two fantastic goals to boot too. The Dutch have offered little in return.
HT: France 2-0 Netherlands
45' + 2'
Into additional time of the additional time, and France have a free-kick here. Cabaye on the end of it. Towards Matuidi, and headed somewhat away from goal by Eliaquim Mangala!
45' + 1'
Into the one minute of added time at Stade de France.
Close! Sneijder turns on his right and attempts a shot goalwards. Off of Cabaye's outstretched leg and saved by Hugo Lloris on the line!
Netherlands have offered little in attack, nothing centrally anyway. Van Persie having a very quiet night, with Sneijder unable to assert himself in the middle.
Netherlands really on the back foot here. But Van der Wiel advances and has an effort on goal, but it just evades Hugo Lloris and the net.
Assist Mathieu Valbuena
Goal Blaise Matuidi
GOAL! France 2-0 Netherlands. MATUIDI!! What a goal. A fantastic finish from the PSG man, assisted by Mathieu Valbuena of Marseille (three days after the two met in the Classique). Delicious cross, and Matuidi gets off the field to connect with it.
SUBSTITUTION - Netherlands: Kevin Strootman, clutching his leg, comes off for Stijn Schaars.
Valbuena! A free-kick on the edge of the area, taken decently. But it's well saved by Cillessen.
Yellow Card Gregory van der Wiel
YELLOW CARD - Netherlands: Van der Wiel - The PSG full-back is booked for a crushing challenge on Antoine Griezmann. Free-kick 25 yards out.
Netherlands trying to rectify that set back as they blast forward with Van der Wiel and Promes on the wing. France nevertheless, avert the danger.
France 1-0 up, courtesy of a fine finish from Benzema, who is expected to be number one choice for Brazil. Lovely pass from Matuidi to create the goal.
Goal Karim Benzema
Assist Blaise Matuidi
GOAL!! France 1-0 Netherlands - BENZEMA! What a strike! What a strike from the Real Madrid striker. A superb lofted ball catches out the defence, and the chance looks gone as Benzema lets it run. A stunning half-volley sends it past Cillessen!
Been a quiet opening for Real Sociedad star Antoine Griezmann on his France debut. Though, he did assist Benzema's goal which was chalked off minutes ago.
LLORIS! Fine save, but Vlaar skies the rebound! France temporarily are susceptible at the back. Lloris makes an initial save, but parries in front of the defender, who unluckily, doesn't get a clean hit.
Corner to Netherlands, and they win another one as Mangala jumps with Martins-Indi, and concedes another set-piece.
Free-kick for France, after a foul just outside the area. Both Yohan Cabaye and Benzema over that, but the Real Madrid man takes it, and strikes it into the wall.
Matuidi, Pogba and Cabaye interlinking well in the middle of the field as they seek to make an impression. France's first choice midfield in the World Cup.
Netherlands issuing a response to France's domination, and Promes continues to cause some problems on the far side. Attacking furiously, and in a tussle with Evra.
Really opening up this well. The French attack is beginning to click, with Griezmann, Benzema and Debuchy all combining superbly.
GOAL? NO! OFFSIDE! Fantastic pass from the right to pick out Benzema. Lovely chest and volley, but the goal is ruled out by the linesman!
Pogba with superb control and eye for the pass picks out Debuchy on the right. Lovely release, and it's drilled in once more towards the far post. Benzema unable to turn it in!
Bruno Martins Indi picks out Boetius on the left, but the move breaks down as the Oranje are forced back. With Blind advancing, they are being kept at arm's length at the minute.
Great ambiance inside the Stade de France as les Bleus start to settle into their rhythm. Didier Deschamps' men need to take advantage of a suspect Dutch back four if they are to open the scoring.
Easy take by Hugo Lloris from the corner, taken by Wesley Sneijder. The Netherlands have started well though in this fixture.
Clasie with a nice passing movement with Strootman to maintain possession on the ball for the Netherlands. Promes still on the ball, which finds its way to the other side with Boetius, who wins a corner off of Debuchy.
Lovely flowing move from Mathieu Valbuena, who picks out Debuchy on the right. Drilled cross from the Newcastle man, but it evades Benzema, and then Griezmann.
Cillessen has made his second error of the night so far with a poor pass through the middle for Matuidi to give chase onto. Ron Vlaar gets the ball away in time.
Boetius and Promes are both debutants for the Oranje this evening, and both have won challenges against full-backs Evra and Debuchy with their superior pace. It may be a long night for les Bleus.
Clasie finds Strootman, before Boetius gets the ball down the left and drills in a cross. Towards Van Persie but he is adjudged to have unfairly jumped with his club team-mate Patrice Evra.
Jasper Cillessen caught out in goal for the Oranje, with a poor pass that needs Van der Wiel's efforts to try and keep in play. He does so, winning a goal-kick off of club team-mate Blaise Matuidi.
Quincy Promes strutting his stuff indeed, and is up against Evra once more. Skips past the outstretched leg of the Man Utd man, but cannot get the ball in the danger zone.
Benzema and Debuchy combine on the right, as the former backheels an astute pass towards the latter. Towards the edge of the area where Griezmann is, the ball goes out.
A fairly strong start from Netherlands, and it's come via a boot in the face on Patrice Evra from debutant Quincy Promes. Evra alright though.
UNDERWAY IN PARIS! France, in their new World Cup 2014 kit get us going attacking from left to right.
Manchester United manager David Moyes is present at the stadium to watch this international friendly.
The teams are out, and we will first have the national anthem at the sold out Stade de France.
Netherlands are in good form, though drew two games in the November friendlies. The Oranje have not lost since August 2012 against Belgium, which followed their dismal showing at Euro 2012.
TEAM NEWS: Eliaquim Mangala handed a start alongside Raphael Varane, France's 9th defensive partnership under Deschamps. Valbuena, who plays for Marseille in less than 48 hours against Nice in Ligue 1 on Friday starts, as does Griezmann. For Netherlands, both debutants Boetius and Promes start, with Van Persie leading the line.
NETHERLANDS: Cillessen, van der Wiel, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Blind, Clasie, Sneijder, Strootman, Promes, Van Persie, Boëtius
FRANCE: Lloris, Debuchy, Evra, Mangala, Varane, Pogba, Matuidi, Cabaye, Valbuena, Benzema, Griezmann
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
99 days until the FIFA World Cup, nonetheless!
For Netherlands, the soon departing Louis van Gaal has called up Jean-Paul Boetius and Quincy Promes, of Feyenoord and FC Twente respectively, set to make their debuts.
A lot of talk surrounding France's World Cup squad - with a lot of players staking a late claim. Nearly all their strikers are on the verge of getting 20 goals this season, with Andre-Pierre Gignac (Marseille) and Bafetimbi Gomis, Alexandre Lacazette (both Lyon) not called up. Furthermore, Samir Nasri is not in the squad, while Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Remy Cabella (Montpellier) and Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco) wait in the wings for an unlikely position.
Antoine Griezmann will make his debut for France this evening. The Real Sociedad hotshot was banned from all duty until December 31 for a period of 13 months, after going to a night-club with team-mates Yann M'Vila and Wissam Ben Yedder after an U21 play-off first leg against Norway. While they won that game, they lost the second leg 5-3, and failed to reach the U21 European Championship last summer. But all is forgiven now!
It is both sides' final friendly before the naming of the preliminary squads ahead of the World Cup. France play Norway, Paraguay and Jamaica before their World Cup opener against Honduras. Netherlands play Ecuador and Wales before their opener against Spain.
It's also France's first game since that momentous night at the national stadium in November, when a 3-0 win over Ukraine overturned their first leg deficit to reach the 2014 World Cup. How it might've been different!
It is the first game between these two countries since the Netherlands 4-1 win over les Bleus at Euro 2008 in Austria-Switzerland. It's the first friendly between the two in 10 years, and the first in France since 1997.
Good evening, and welcome to live coverage of the international friendly between France and the Netherlands at the Stade de France in Paris. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be taking you through the happenings at the national stadium.
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