Giroud moves to second place on the scorers list
Olivier Giroud has become From France second-best scorer when he scored a brace to bring his international tally to 42 goals as the world champions crushed injury and COVID-19-ravaged Ukraine 7-1 in a friendly in an almost empty Stade de France.
Giroud, who celebrated his 100th selection, found the back of the net twice in the second half to move within nine goals of Thierry Henry’s French goal record.
The Chelsea forward edged out Michel Platini, who scored 41 goals in 72 games between 1976-1987.
The other goals came from Eduardo Camavinga, 17, who became France’s youngest goalscorer since 1914, against his side of Vitaliy Mykolenko, Corentin Tolisso, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, while Ukraine reduced the backlogs thanks to Viktor Tsygankov.
Camavinga put France in the lead in the 9th minute on a clever overhead kick after Giroud’s header was parried by Heorhiy Bushchan.
Bushchan was the only “active goalkeeper on the Ukrainian team’s scoresheet”, although assistant coach Oleksandr Shovkovsky, retired since 2016, was included in the squad to make up for the absence of their other two “goalkeepers. Who had tested positive for COVID-19.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Giroud, 34, doubled France’s total with a magnificent 20-yard coiled shot in the top corner in the 24th minute and he added the third nine minutes later with a head before Mykolenko directs a cross from Houssem Aouar. in his own net six minutes before the break.
Ukrainian coach Andriy Shevchenko had to improvise with six injuries and eight cases of COVID-19 in his expected squad, but the visitors managed to pull one out in the 52nd minute thanks to a long-range strike from Tsygankov.
Tolisso added a fifth for Les Bleus in the 65th with a curling shot and Mbappe scored the sixth at the end of a blistering run at eight minutes of full time. Griezmann, who like Mbappe entered as a second-half substitute, shot at home in the 89th to complete the rout.
France will face Portugal in a Group 3 Nations League match on Sunday, while Ukraine will face Germany in a Group 4 match.
Germany wastes three times at the top of a thriller
Germany midfielder Florian Neuhaus scored on his national team debut but turkey came back three times to win a 3-3 draw in their friendly.
Kenan Karaman scored an equalizer in stoppage time after Luca Waldschmidt shot in an 81st-minute end that put Germany 3-2 ahead.
Turkey had already equalized twice before, with both teams missing several regular players.
Julian Draxler’s good finish on an assist from Kai Havertz put the hosts in the lead on the stroke of half-time in front of 300 supporters allowed in the stadium, but the Turks equalized with Ozan Tufan’s completed effort five minutes after reboot.
The 23-year-old Neuhaus completed a lightning-quick double with Havertz to put Germany back in the lead in 58th.
But he then lost possession to Efecan Karaca who shot from close range in the 67th to bring Turkey back to a tie before late goals from Waldschmidt and Karaman.
The Germans, playing without the rested Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig players and missing several others due to illness and injury, face Ukraine on Saturday and Switzerland three days later in the Nations League.
Turkey will face Russia on Sunday and Serbia next Wednesday in their Nations League matches.
Joao Felix misses goalkeeper in eventful draw
Portugal had to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to Spain in a successful international friendly after hitting the crossbar twice and missing an open goal at the last breath.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted a hat-trick when the two sides met in an exciting 2018 World Cup group stage game, almost gave the European champions the advantage when he sent a shot crashing into the underside of the bar early in the second half.
Midfielder Renato Sanches went even closer moments later with a first shot on goal.
He also hit the bottom of the bar before running off to celebrate, only to see the ball bounce off goal without crossing it.
Portugal’s most glaring luck was yet to come, when Ruben Semedo steered a corner to the far post towards Joao Felix, who got the weakest of touches and missed the target with the goal yawning in front of him.
Caputo, 33, scores on debut in Italy
Forward Francesco Caputo scored on his Italy debuting at the age of 33 while routed Moldova 6-0 in a one-sided friendly match.
Stephan El Shaarawy scored twice, while Bryan Cristante and Domenico Berardi, with their first Italian goals, were also on target and Veaceslav Posmac scored his own goal to end a terrible night for the visitors.
Italy fielded an experimental roster, Caputo becoming their second oldest debutant, but Roberto Mancini’s side were still far too good for the visitors as they extended their unbeaten 17 games.
Cristante opened the scoring with an easy header at the post in the 18th minute and Caputo, who has spent much of his career in the lower divisions of Italian football, ran on Cristiano Biraghi’s incisive pass and scored with a finish clinic five minutes later.
China-based El Shaarawy showed superb control as he reclaimed Cristante’s loop pass, beat his marker and sent the ball to the far corner on the half hour for the third.
Moldova provided the fourth as Posmac, trying to clear the ball for a corner, instead shot into the roof of the net and El Shaarawy added a fifth at the stroke of half-time, the first time since 1987 that Italy scored five points in the first half.
The visiting defense was better organized after the break but couldn’t stop Berardi from scoring at the far post in the 72nd minute.
Jimenez scores as the Netherlands fall to Mexico
Mexico refurbished Netherlands Coach Frank de Boer was defeated in his first game at the head as they enjoyed a deserved 1-0 win over their hosts in a friendly.
Raul Jimenez made up for several missed opportunities in the first half by canceling a penalty on time after Nathan Ake pulled him into the box.
It was everything an enterprising Mexican team deserved, as they had created many opportunities unlike a pedestrian exhibition of the Dutch.
Jimenez and Jesus Corona missed chances before the break as the home side’s only shot came when Memphis Depay put Ryan Babel on goal but he hacked his shot wide.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul, who was playing his first international game in five years, made a key 55th minute save to deny Corona from close range, but even with his previous penalty record for the Netherlands he didn’t stand a chance to save Jimenez’s kick.
The goal seemed to wake up the Dutch team momentarily, but it was Corona who came closest to adding Mexico’s lead with a shot after a mazy run in the 75th minute that Krul again did well for Stop.
Luuk de Jong and Depay missed one last chance to tie the game with De Jong’s initial header saved and Depay’s call coming back on the crossbar.
West Brom winger Kamil Grosicki notched a 19-minute hat trick Poland beaten Finland 5-1.
Adrian Grbic and Christoph Baumgartner hit the net as Austria reversed the tendency to beat Greece 2-1.
Christian Eriksen hit a penalty as Denmark crossed the Faroe Islands 4-0, with Andreas Skov Olsen, Joakim Maehle Pedersen and Andreas Cornelius also on target.
Mario Pasalic and Josip Brekalo sealed a 2-1 win for Croatia in Suisse, after Mario Gavranovic put the hosts in the lead.
Tomas Holes and Vladimir Darida helped the Czech republic to a 2-1 win in Cyprus, with Loizos Loizou scoring for the hosts.
Malta beat Gibraltar 2-0, Montenegro draws 1-1 with Latvia and Lithuania won 3-1 in Estonia.
Slovenia beat San Marino 4-0, Liechtenstein won 2-1 in Luxembourg while Armenia and Albania has been cancelled.