An incredible long-range strike from Paul Pogba led France to a 1-0 win over Netherlands in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Amsterdam.
Pogba’s accurate shot, which appeared too hot for goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to handle, was the telling blow in a clash between the two tough countries in Group A, leaving the hosts with the first World Cup qualifying loss since 2001.
France have now recorded three straight wins over the Dutch for the first time in their history.
“Paul is capable of and must perform better” Deschamps said after Pogba’s last international outing which he absolutely delivered for the team with his accurately launched rocket-kick. Laurent Koscielny took a square ball from Dimitri Payet while Pogba received the ball from him and aimed for the target under a little pressure.
The kick had a lot of power, Stekelenburg couldn’t handle the ball as it slipped beyond him while he dived to his right. The Everton goalkeeper had been stronger when keeping out Kevin Gameiro’s stinging drive in the early exchanges, as France consistently caused Netherlands problems on the counter.
Netherlands without the sidelined Wesley Sneijder, had their attacking options reduced especially when the injured Quincy Promes had to be substituted after just 15 minutes of playing.
Regardless of the change, France continued to outplay Netherlands in pursuit of scoring the second goal.
Pogba’s floated pass set free Gameiro, who controlled the ball awesomely as it dropped over his shoulder, only to then give a poor challenge to the advancing Stekelenburg.
Stekelenburg was also on call to deny Pogba from doubling his tally, after the Manchester United midfielder found space to head Payet’s right-wing corner on target.
Hugo Lloris of France was finally tried at the other end in the 90th minute, one that saw him produce a reactionary save which denied Memphis Depay from securing the Dutch men an unwarranted point at the dearth of the match.