France recently managed an excellent 2-0 win over World Cup favourites Netherlands in the friendly match. This was one of the final friendly matches for the national teams before they prepare to take part in the World Cup 2014. After having not done well in recent major tournaments, France will go into this tournament not even as one of the dark horses. However, expectations have increased significantly after the team managed a win over one of the World Cup hopefuls. France have now been defeated only once in the last five matches.
Karim Benzema, who has been in fine form for Real Madrid, continued his scoring streak with the opening goal. PSG midfielder Matuidi doubled the advantage for France with a goal nine minutes later. Didier Deschamps said after the match that he did not want expectations to rise as a result of this win. He has recalled that the Dutch national team were without a number of influential players like Arjen Robben because manager Louis van Gaal was looking to test out a few players before the World Cup. Both France and Netherlands have tough groups respectively and they need to negotiate with them carefully in order to overcome the ghosts of the recent World Cup.
“You can get carried away, but not too much. We played a good Dutch team but they were without several important players, including (Arjen) Robben. The players have triggered great expectations. It was something important. It will not make us World Cup favourites but it was important to keep the dynamic (after the Ukraine game). People are loving it. The players have a duty. That (France) jersey must be above everything,” said Deschamps.
France have three more friendlies before the start of the World Cup, but they will be against lesser opposition like Jamaica and Norway.