This is the story of a match that the France team – already qualified for the round of 16 – neither needed nor particularly wanted to win. Didier Deschamps hates losing, but he did nothing to avoid it against Tunisia (1-0), Wednesday, November 30. In its genre, its starting team was audacious, original, even baroque. The coach recognizes this and takes his share of responsibility in the defeat “We had difficulties in particular because of my choices. But compared to these choices, it will have to serve us in four days, ” he said in reference to the round of 16 which will see France face Poland on Sunday, December 4.
The Basque did come off the bench at the end of the game with three of his nine starters in the match against Denmark: Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann. The latter even equalized after stoppage time, before seeing his goal canceled by New Zealand referee Matthew Conger, who was helped by video assistance to spot a subtle offside position.
The nine substitutes, these “hairdressers” (to use the expression born during the 1986 World Cup), therefore lost “their” World Cup match, partly through the fault of an old acquaintance from Ligue 1, Wahbi Khazri . The only scorer of the game (58e) didn’t feel like they had beaten a small team. “Aligning Tchouaméni and Camavinga would be a lack of respect? No. Me, I come from a small corner of Corsica, there, I play against players that I watch on TV in the Champions League ”, explains the Montpellier striker.
But for the band of nine, the rest of the tournament promises a return to their starting condition: those of substitute. Only Ibrahima Konaté, very solid, can be a credible recourse in defense. In reality, if there is a France group, it is made up of two teams. One plays, the other looks at her. William Saliba belongs to this second class. Entering the hour mark in place of Raphaël Varane (one of the two holders on the bridge with Aurélien Tchouaméni), the defender sums up the situation well: “It was really a reshuffled team, with some who had never played together, some who knew their first selection, so it was a bit hard for automatisms. »
At the Cité de l’Education stadium (Al Rayyan), Eduardo Camavinga, for example, made his first entry as a left-back, he usually a midfielder. Inevitably, there was a lot of red on his copy. On the right, Alex Disasi celebrated his first selection as a side. Not a gift, but the usual axial defender only saw the glass half full. No doubt because he is already happy to be present in Qatar, he was called up at the last hour. “The group remains positive despite everythingassures the Monegasque. It’s a dream for everyone to play a World Cup, so I think from that moment on, you just have to wet the jersey. »
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