Aurelien Tchouameni stole the show with a late winner as France made history with a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast.
The match, a friendly, was France’s sixth win in a row (after five winless matches saw them bomb out of Euro 2020 last summer) and was not only a great way for Les Bleus to start a World Cup year, but it was a record-breaking night.
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When Olivier Giroud struck his 47th goal for the French national team, he not only moved one closer to Thierry Henry’s all-time record of 51, but he also helped make history for Les Bleus.
That goal ensured that France had scored in their last 19 consecutive games, a streak no French team had ever managed before. Not the great side of Platini, not the team of Zidane, Desailly and Deschamps that won the World Cup and Euro 2020, not even the 2018 World Cup winning side featuring many of the players who featured tonight.
Olivier Giroud has now scored 47 goals for France, only four behind all-time top-scorer Thierry Henry (51).
The go-kart is chasing a record. ? pic.twitter.com/ruaUfcupno
— Squawka (@Squawka) March 25, 2022
The last time France failed to score was during a 0-2 friendly defeat to Finland back in November 2020. They won their next game 0-1 in Portugal a few dys later and the streak began. A streak that saw them limp through Euro 2020 and then squeak by Spain to win the UEFA Nations League late in the day too.
Now the streak is at 19, and with a game against South Africa coming up in a few days, it’s likely to be extended to 20. They’ve already scored an impressive 43 goals during those 19 games, and so the question now becomes: who can stop France from scoring?
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 25, 2022
This summer and autumn they will face Denmark, Croatia and Austria twice each in the Nations League, could one of those be the side to stop this juggernaut powering all the way to the World Cup in November? Or will Les Bleus go into their title defence with an active goalscoring streak of 26 games?
Giroud’s goal tonight was simplicity itself. A few minutes after Nicolas Pepe had given Ivory Coast a shock lead, Theo Hernandez bent a beautiful cross into the box and Giroud rose to head home and draw France level.
The game seemed destined to end in a draw, but late in stoppage time hometown hero Matteo Guendouzi whipped in a delicious corner and Aurelien Tchouameni rose highest to power a game-winner into the back of the net.
It was a fantastic moment for the young man, the perfect cap to an impressive display at the heart of midfield.