French football is not dead. The commentators went delirious with joy as the French team overcame Spain in the U19 Euro Cup. There was an extra intensity in those celebrations, a bit more oomph in those hugs, as the badly battered Gallic pride was restored somewhat by a fine win by the U19 team.
Spain assiduously stuck to its tightly suffocating tiki taka as practiced by its senior counterparts and went up by a goal when Daniel Pacheco played a superb through ball for Rodrigo to finish clinically. France had to withstand a barrage of possession and half chances and wait for the counterattack. From one of them Arsenal starlet Gilles Sunu played a nice one – two with Yannis Tafer to lob the ball past Alex, the Spain goalie.
Chelsea wunderkid, Gael Kakuta having a monstrous campaign, stamped his class by virtually scoring the second goal all by himself. In the 84th minute he burst through taking on two defenders before shooting straight to Alex. But Kakuta showed his wits by collecting his rebound and looking up floated the ball gently to the arriving Alexandre Lacazette who headed the ball home.
The win provides a much needed refutation that the much maligned generation of caillera do not have enough national pride – maybe this next generation of Les Bleus will do their country proud on the world’s biggest stage.