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The World Cup finalists France win victory over the Netherlands

The World Cup finalists France opened their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a convincing victory over the Netherlands as Kylian Mbappe scored his first goals as captain. 

Antoine Griezmann curled in from Mbappe’s assist to give the hosts the lead after only two minutes. 

Defender Six minutes later, Dayot Upamecano bundled in to make it 2-0. 

After scoring his second late in the game, Mbappe scored his 37th goal for France. 

There were no indications of tension between the two as they celebrated Mbappe’s first goal of the night in the 21st minute. Griezmann had reportedly been upset over being passed over for the captaincy role given to Mbappe. 

Two minutes from time, the Paris St. Germain striker scored his second goal with a fantastic solo effort that sent the Dutch players toppling in an attempt to block his shot. He then thumped the ball into the bottom corner. 

Deep in stoppage time, Memphis Depay had an opportunity to give the guests a consolation, but his penalty was saved. 

Ronald Koeman’s second stint as Netherlands manager began with a disappointing loss, however the flu illness that caused five players to be sent home the day before the game did not help his cause. 

All of the players that had the disease were the defenders Matthijs de Ligt and Sven Botman, the striker Cody Gakpo, the midfielder Joey Veerman, and the goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen. 

However, Austria, who defeated Azerbaijan 4-1 behind two goals from Marcel Sabitzer of Manchester United, prevented France from taking first place in their group.

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