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Greece

France’s Perfect Record in European Championship Qualifying Ends with 2-2 Draw at Greece

November 22, 2023

ATHENS — France’s perfect record in European Championship qualifying ended with a 2-2 draw at Greece on Tuesday.

Kylian Mbappé came off the bench and almost won it for France in stoppage time, but his dipping shot from outside the penalty area was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.

Chasing an eighth straight win, already qualified France took the lead when Olivier Giroud set up fellow forward Randal Kolo Muani in the 42nd minute.

Greece then scored twice in quick succession as France’s defenders made sloppy errors on each flank.

Greece’s Fotis Ioannidis celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Euro 2024 group B qualifying soccer match between Greece and France at OPAP Arena in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Midfielder Tasos Bakasetas equalized in the 56th with a smart volley from the edge of the area after left back Theo Hernandez failed to clear an easy ball.

Five minutes later, defender Jules Koundé was beaten down the right by Dimitris Giannoulis, whose cross was turned in by striker Fotis Ioannidis.

Midfielder Youssouf Fofana ensured Les Bleus stayed unbeaten with a brilliant strike from 25 meters which flew under the crossbar.

France’s Youssouf Fofana scores during the Euro 2024 group B qualifying soccer match between Greece and France at OPAP Arena in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
France’s Kylian Mbappe kicks the ball during the Euro 2024 group B qualifying soccer match between Greece and France at OPAP Arena in Athens, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

France had already won Group B and finished with 29 goals scored — it beat tiny Gibraltar 14-0 on Saturday — and only three conceded.

Third-place Greece enters the playoffs and faces Kazakhstan on March 21. If it wins, it then takes on either Georgia or Luxembourg five days later.

 

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