The former Marseille boss made a solid if unspectacular start at the helm of Les Bleus, with Karim Benzema going closest to breaking the deadlock when he struck the postDidier Deschamps' first match in charge of France ended in a tame 0-0 friendly draw with Uruguay at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre on Wednesday night.
Each of the three previous meetings between the sides had finished goalless, so there was little hope for an exciting encounter heading into this clash, and the first half would live up to those expectations.
The game sparked into life after the interval, but neither side was able to find a winning goal, with Karim Benzema going closest, the Real Madrid ace striking the post.
The opening period was less than eventful, with France dominating play but struggling to find a path through a packed visiting defence. Indeed, they fashioned only one opening of note, but Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s header proved little more than an awkward block for Fernando Muslera.
There would be significantly more excitement after the break, though the South Americans were largely content to play on the counter.
Mathieu Valbuena was lively for the hosts and four minutes after the restart he was set up by substitute Etienne Capoue’s accurate pass, but his finish was too close to Muslera to seriously trouble the goalkeeper.
On the hour, Les Bleus went even closer. A lofted ball forward picked out Benzema at the edge of the box, but the forward saw a wonderfully executed, side-foot volley come back off the post.
If there was not a flurry of chances for the home side, there was certainly a steadier stream of opportunities, with Ribery’s deft chip exciting the crowd before dropping just too high. Shortly afterwards, Bafetimbi Gomis sent a shot from range skidding towards goal, only for Muslera to deny the substitute.
While Uruguay’s approach was rather negative, the fourth-placed side on the Fifa rankings were not entirely subdued as an attacking force. At times Cristian Rodriguez drove them forwards from the midfield with real purpose, delivering a wonderful cross that Sebastian Abreu contrived to send straight back to Hugo Lloris, when he ought to have scored.
A goalless draw looked likely for large periods of the contests, but France did push for a winner until the end. Jimmy Briand had a good chance from a Valbuena cross and Gomis should have done better in stoppage time when well placed.
Deschamps’ first match in charge of France, therefore, did not end in disaster. Instead, it was a respectable draw against highly-ranked opposition, and Aime Jacquet’s record of being the last Bleus coach to win on debut way back in 1994 remains intact.