France 1-1 Ukraine: Disappointment for Didier Deschamps’ World Cup champions in first qualifier for Qatar 2022 as Presnel Kimpembe’s own goal cancels out Antoine Griezmann’s strike
- Antoine Griezmann equaled David Trezeguet’s goal record of 34 for France
- The Barcelona forward scored a stunner from the edge of the box to make it 1-0
- France failed to build on their lead and were made to pay early in the second half
- PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe clumsily turned into his own net to settle at 1-1
France kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign in unconvincing fashion as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Ukraine on Wednesday.
Antoine Griezmann put the world champions in front in the first half with a brilliant strike, only for defender Presnel Kimpembe to hand the visitors a point with an own goal after the break.
The result left Didier Deschamps’s side and Ukraine level with Finland and Bosnia in Group D after they drew 2-2 in the other game. Les Bleus next face Kazakhstan and Bosnia away, on Sunday and Wednesday.
Ukraine took an unlikely point off France to kickstart their 2022 World Cup qualifying run
Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe agonisingly put the ball into his own net
It was joyous celebrations for Ukraine and they managed to stand firm to win their first point
Antoine Griezmann (right) had earlier given France the lead with a stunning strike for 1-0
France dominated possession and they went ahead on 19 minutes as Griezmann whipped a delightful shot into the far top corner from the edge of the box.
It put Griezmann up to joint fourth with David Trezeguet in the list of France’s all-time top scorers with 34 goals. Thierry Henry is top with 51.
Giroud went close to doubling the advantage, but his header from Benjamin Pavard’s cross went just over the crossbar in the 32nd minute.
France are expected to dominate their group but never managed to build on the first goal
Kylian Mbappe drew extra attention and endured a frustrating evening by his standards
Ukraine, however, hit back when Sergiy Sydorchuk’s harmless attempt was deflected into his own net by Kimpembe 12 minutes into the second half.
Deschamps made two substitutions, sending Paul Pogba and Ousmane Dembele in for Giroud and Kingsley Coman.
Pogba brought steel to the midfield but Andriy Shevchenko’s side were happy to sit back and wait.
Kylian Mbappe, who produced a forgettable performance on the left flank of the attack, was replaced by Anthony Martial, who failed to make any impact.
Griezmann had a chance to give France a last-gap win, but his curled attempt was tipped away by Heorhiy Bushchan eight minutes from time.
Kimpembe had an opportunity to make up for his own goal in the last minute but headed the ball straight into Bushchan’s arms.
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud (middle) was left with his head in his hands on a tricky night
There is work to do for France boss Didier Deschamps (middle) before their next matches