With one Matchday to go in Group H of the EURO 2020 qualifiers, France and Turkey booked on this Thursday their places into the continental competition next year. The Turks made it through a goalless draw with Iceland as the French had a hard-fought 2-1 win over Moldova at the Stade de France.
Thursday’s triumph left France with 22 points, two more than Turkey. Iceland is in third place with 16, and cannot go straight to the EURO 2020 anymore. They still fight for a place in the tournament via play-offs though. Albania, who drew 2-2 with Andorra is fourth with 13. Moldova rock-bottoms the Group, on only three points.
At the Stade de France, the Frenchmen seemed not to be taking rock-bottoms Moldova too seriously and ended up being punished for that. On seven minutes, Barcelona’s defender Clement Lenglet risked a back-pass in his defensive half, as Rata intercepted the ball and slotted home past the onrushing goalkeeper. 0-1 Moldova.
The atmosphere got tense in Paris, as things could get complicated in the Group for the Frenchmen in case of a defeat. The hosts kept on fighting for the equalizer, and it came on 34 mins. In a controversial way. Olivier Giroud disputed the ball with goalkeeper Coselev, as the latter went down and remained at the ground claiming for a foul. The play kept going anyway, as the ball ended up to Raphael Varane, who headed home. 1-1.
After the break, France continued their uninspiring performance, including from their top players such as Antoine Griezmann, but managed to turn it around anyway after Digne was brought down inside the box. Giroud took the penalty and put the Frenchmen ahead with 77 on the clock. 2-1 France.
The final Matchday of Group H will be played on Sunday with three games: Albania vs France, Andorra vs Turkey and Moldova vs Iceland.