UEFA Nations League: Mbappe defends draw for France against Austria – View
Kylian Mbappe scored a late draw to help France survive a 1-1 draw against Austria as they kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the last four of the Nations League on Friday (June 10).
Mbappe, who came in as a substitute after the break, found the back of the net with a shot in the top corner seven minutes from time to cancel Andreas Weimann’s first-half opener. The world champions are at the bottom of Group 1 with two points from three matches, four behind the leaders of Denmark, who were beaten by a 1–0 home loss against Croatia.
Second-placed Austria and third-placed Croatia have four points each. Mbappe had a great opportunity to give Les Blaise all three points with three minutes remaining, only for his attempt to rattle the crossbar.
Kylian Mbappe vs Austria. Changed the game for France and showed the level. RT appreciated. pic.twitter.com/pFf5G68XaJ
— hash (@HeshComps) June 10, 2022
“I am disappointed that we were not able to score more than the chances we had,” said France coach Didier Deschamps. “Sometimes we score more goals with fewer chances but I’m not worried. I’ve had to make do with minor injuries and fatigue.”
After an initial 1–0 home loss against Denmark and a 1–1 draw in Croatia, Deschamps reshuffled his squad again as he looked to rest some key players at the end of a long and demanding season. . He struck centre-back Ibrahima Konate on his first cap and wing-back Boubacar Kamara on the bench with Mbappe on the bench as Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema started in front.
On a lively start, Les Blaises came close in the 18th minute when Griezmann’s free-kick deflected en route to Benzema, whose header was brilliantly stopped by Patrick Pentz. But Austria struck first in the 37th minute when Weimann tapped from close range with Konrad Laimer’s cross at the end of a sharp counterattack.
France had another good chance at the stroke of halftime, only for Benzema’s penetrating shot to be overcome by the impeccable Pentz. The keeper was on it again to deny Benjamin Pavard and Kingsley Coman at the start of the second half as the visitors piled under the pressure.
best performance? #nation league
— UEFA Nations League (@Euro2024) June 10, 2022
In the 63rd, Deschamps replaced Griezmann with Mbappe, who immediately threatened. Just as it looked like France had run out of energy and ideas, Mbappe collected a short pass from Christopher Nkunku before hitting Pentz from inside the field with a clinical, brutal shot in the 83rd.
He came close to doubling the tally four minutes later when Pentz removed his attempt on the bar after a one-two with Benzema.
“We didn’t come for it, but we will take that point and try to win on Monday,” Mbappe said.
“I am not 100% fit but if I have to, I will play. This is the last game before the holidays so we can push it a bit.”
France will next face Croatia on Monday.