Stindl strikes late to deny France

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 759

Stindl stroked home after being found by Gotze. AFP

Stindl strikes late to deny France

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 0 759

Lars Stindl's late goal earned Germany a 2-2 draw in Tuesday's international friendly against France after Alexandre Lacazette had twice given the visitors the lead.

The two sides will no doubt go into next summer’s World Cup as two of the favourites for the tournament and in truth there was very little to choose between them on Tuesday night.

The hosts started the game well with Samuel Umtiti being forced into an early challenge to deny Timo Werner a chance on goal, but france gradually grew into the match and looked a danger down the flanks.

Blaise Matuidi volleyed into the side-netting after Christophe Jallet’s cross from the right, before Mats Hummels stepped in to prevent Kylian Mbappe from racing clear.

Alexandre Lacazette threatened to break the deadlock when he skipped away from Hummels 30 yards out before unleashing an effort from range but Kevin Trapp in the home goal was equal to his effort.

Umtiti made an excellent block just before the half-hour mark before France started to crank up the pressure.

First, Mbappe skipped away from two opposition defenders before being denied at the near post by Trapp before ‘Les Bleus’ took the lead. Lucas Digne found Anthony Martial just inside the Germany box and the Manchester United man did brilliantly to skip away from two defenders before unselfishly squaring to Lacazette who tapped home from six yards.

Germany haven’t had much experience of being on the losing side in recent years but they reacted well to going behind, with box Julian Draxler and Timo Werner calling Steve Mandanda into action before the end of the first half, albeit with routine saves.

The hosts went into the break behind but they came out fighting in the second half.

Substitute Antonio Rudiger wasted a great chance to level things after 53 minutes when Draxler crossed low after leaving Jallet for dead down the left but the Chelsea defender could only prod wide from six yards.

They weren’t made to wait too long for an equaliser though and they were back on level terms just three minutes later as Timo Werner restored parity.

France were guilty of committing too many players forward, allowing the home side to counter with devastating effect. Mesut Ozil slipped Werner in down the left and the RB Leipzig man did the rest, slipping the ball below Steve Mandanda to level the scores.

Germany were well on top at this point and almost took the lead when Toni Kroos’ free kick crashed back off the crossbar.

They were made to regret that miss almost instantly though as France regained the lead against the run of play. Mbappe slipped Lacazette in behind with the help of some very poor marking and the striker duly doubled his tally for the night, rolling the ball across Trapp and into the far corner.

The hosts struggled to create much of note in the final ten minutes but salvaged a draw in the final minute of added time when substitutes Lars Stindl and Mario Gotze combined. The latter helped the ball into the path of the former just inside the box and the Borussia Monchengladback midfielder made no mistake, tucking the ball past Mandanda to earn a share of the spoils.

Matt Morley

Matt Morley

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