France handed defending Nations League champion Portugal a uncommon defeat on Saturday, profitable 1-Zero in Lisbon with N’Golo Kante’s second-half strike to achieve the competitors’s remaining 4 on the expense of the holders.
Anthony Martial missed three clear-cut first half possibilities for France earlier than Kante scored solely his second worldwide purpose within the 54th minute, and his first since 2016, to finish Portugal’s run of 5 successive clear sheets.
World champion France went high of Group A3 with 13 factors from 5 video games, three forward of Portugal and with the higher head-to-head file to present them an unassailable lead. It was solely Portugal’s second defeat because the 2018 World Cup.
“Given the quality of the opposition, its of course one of our best performances of recent times,” France coach Didier Deschamps mentioned of Portugal, who’re the European champions.
“We deserved the win and weve fulfilled our objective of finishing top. Im very proud of the players. They proved tonight that France are still a great team.”
Antoine Griezmann arrange Martial’s first likelihood within the 12th minute with a slide-rule go however Portugal’s glorious goalkeeper Rui Patricio blocked it at point-blank vary.
Martial then diverted Adrien Rabiot’s acrobatic effort onto the bar along with his head and noticed one other effort brilliantly saved at shut vary by Patricio from Lucas Hernandez’s cross.
At the opposite finish, Cristiano Ronaldo compelled a diving save from France captain Hugo Lloris and in addition wasted a free kick which he drove straight into the wall.
France lastly broke by simply as Portugal seemed to be imposing itself. Griezmann slipped one other ball by to Rabiot whose shot was parried by Patricio and Kante was available to attain from the rebound.
Portugal had three possibilities go begging in the identical assault, together with a Jose Fonte header in opposition to the put up, and Lloris made a one-handed save to parry a raking drive from Joao Moutinho, who then noticed his cross evade three forwards as France held out.
“I don’t know what went wrong in the first half, it wasn’t what I expected but it was my responsibility,” mentioned Portugal coach Fernando Santos.
“We were better in the second half but then conceded the goal which settled the game… we had three or four chances to equalise.”