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France off to a flyer against hosts

Published: Tuesday 23 May 2006, 22.40CET
Portugal 0-1 France
Les Bleuets got their campaign off to a perfect start against the hosts in front of a full house in Braga.
by Greg Demetriou
from Estádio Municipal de Braga

Match statistics

PortugalFrance

Goals scored0
1
Attempts on target2
 
4
Attempts off target2
 
1
Corners4
 
3
Fouls committed16
 
17
Yellow cards2
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0

Standings

Group A FRA / GER / POR / SCG

TeamsPWDLFA+/-Pts
France France11001013
Germany Germany11001013
Serbia and Montenegro Serbia and Montenegro100101-10
Portugal Portugal100101-10
Last updated: 19/04/2013 11:30 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
W: Won   
D: Drawn   
L: Lost   
F: For   
A: Against   
+/-: Goal difference   
Published: Tuesday 23 May 2006, 22.40CET

France off to a flyer against hosts

Portugal 0-1 France
Les Bleuets got their campaign off to a perfect start against the hosts in front of a full house in Braga.

France have made a perfect start to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship with a 1-0 victory against hosts Portugal in Braga.

Fitting reward
The only goal of the Group A contest came in the 41st minute when Stade Rennais FC striker Jimmy Briand's header struck the bar and crossed the line via Portugal goalkeeper Bruno Vale. It was Briand whose penalty had seen off England in the play-offs, and his assist for the own goal was reward for a lively performance in tandem with Florent Sinama-Pongolle.

Quaresma start
Portugal were boosted when Ricardo Quaresma overcame a foot injury to start. But it was the 'visitors' who were to have the first opportunity in the tenth minute when Briand found space on the right of the penalty area, only to lift his shot over the bar. With a quarter of an hour gone, Quaresma was cautioned for a foul. Seconds later, he floated a free-kick towards goal. Just as the ball looked like dropping over the line, goalkeeper Steve Mandanda palmed it to safety.

Two chances
France were still dangerous. A Julien Faubert shot appeared goalbound only for Portuguese debutant Rolando to head clear. Then, in the 35th minute, Raul Meireles lost possession in his own half. The ball found its way to Sinama-Pongolle and he fired in a left-footed effort that cannoned off Bruno Vale's right-hand post. The No1 then expertly parried Rio Antonio Mavuba's follow-up.

Deadlock broken
A goal was coming. Five minutes later, Faubert's free-kick was headed goalwards by Briand, under pressure from Rolando. The ball hit the bar, bounced down and went in off the hapless Bruno Vale. It was no more than France deserved and Portugal and Quaresma knew they would have to attack in the second period.

Defensive move
The FC Porto playmaker was everywhere and, soon after the interval, his deep cross found Hugo Almeida, celebrating his 22nd birthday, in front of goal but he could not keep his header on target. France were on the back foot but firmly in control, indicated by the arrival just after the hour of Mathieu Flamini and then Lassana Diarra for Faubert and Yoann Gourcuff respectively.

Tempers flared
As the game moved into its final third, the sell-out crowd found their voice and Portugal pushed further forward. Briand and Rolando were booked as tempers flared and the match became more disjointed. However, France remained solid in defence and ably frustrated home efforts until the final whistle. They are next in action on Thursday against Germany, 1-0 winners against Serbia and Montenegro earlier today, when the two losers on this opening day of the finals will also meet.

Carlsberg Man of the Match: Jimmy Briand

Last updated: 27/03/13 7.46CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2006/matches/round=1912/match=83591/postmatch/report/index.html#france+flyer+against+hosts

Lineups

Portugal

Portugal

France

France

1
Bruno ValeBruno Vale (GK)
Goal41
16
MandandaSteve Mandanda (GK)
2
NélsonNélson
9
SagnaBacary Sagna
6
Zé CastroZé Castro
5
BourillonGrégory Bourillon
13
RolandoRolando
Yellow Card73
8
FatyJacques Faty
15
Nuno MoraisNuno Morais
Substitution72
4
BerthodJérémy Berthod
8
Manuel FernandesManuel Fernandes
Substitution45
11
FaubertJulien Faubert
Substitution61
10
João MoutinhoJoão Moutinho
13
GourcuffYoann Gourcuff
Substitution65
3
Raul MeirelesRaul Meireles
14
MavubaRio Mavuba
7
QuaresmaRicardo Quaresma
Yellow Card15
Substitution85
15
ToulalanJérémy Toulalan
Yellow Card23
9
Hugo AlmeidaHugo Almeida
21
Sinama PongolleFlorent Sinama Pongolle
18
NaniNani
18
BriandJimmy Briand
Yellow Card73
Substitution83

Substitutes

12
Paulo RibeiroPaulo Ribeiro (GK)
1
GavanonJérémy Gavanon (GK)
22
FernandesDaniel Fernandes (GK)
2
AubeyLucien Aubey
4
SemedoSemedo
3
BadianeJean-Michel Badiane
5
Pedro RibeiroPedro Ribeiro
6
ClercFrançois Clerc
11
Diogo ValenteDiogo Valente
Substitution72
7
VeigneauOlivier Veigneau
14
CustódioCustódio
10
L. DiarraLassana Diarra
Substitution65
Yellow Card80
16
AmaroBruno Amaro
12
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
Substitution61
17
VarelaSilvestre Varela
Substitution45
17
BergougnouxBryan Bergougnoux
19
Ricardo Vaz TéRicardo Vaz Té
19
GouffranYoan Gouffran
Substitution83
20
LourençoLourenço
Substitution85
20
Le TallecAnthony Le Tallec
21
Filipe OliveiraFilipe Oliveira
22
PouplinSimon Pouplin (GK)

Coach

Agostinho Oliveira (POR) René Girard (FRA)

Referee

Howard Webb (ENG)

Assistant referees

Roger East (ENG), Fermin Martinez Ibanez (ESP)

Fourth official

Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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