France turned on the style in a dominant 4-0 win against Syria in Concepcion, which confirmed their status as Group F champions, and sent the Asian side home as the bottom side in the pool. The classy Nicolas Janvier scored a goal in each half, with Odsonne Edouard in the first and Alexis Claude Maurice in the second completing the line-up of French goalscorers.
Despite their overall control, there was a nervy early moment for France as Numan Bostan, Luca Zidane’s replacement in goal for the final group game, hesitated on the ball just a few yards in front of his own goal after receiving a back pass from Peter Ouaneh. Abdulhadi Shalha closed him down, but Bostan eventually scrambled clear.
It was one-way traffic after that early moment of concern. The electric Claude Maurice sprinted down the French right and, in keeping the ball in play, became tangled up in the corner flag. He faced up to the Syrian defence, still half-attached to the flag, and played in Lamine Fomba who in turn teed up Janvier to sidefoot home from inside the box.
After Fomba had hit the bar with a volley from outside the box, Janvier turned provider for Les Bleues' second. With a vertical run between the Syrian of midfield and defence drawing the defenders out of position, the French No11 played in Edouard, who coolly slotted home his second strike in Chile.
Within a minute of play restarting after the break, Edouard played in Maxime Pelican who burst clear of the Syrian defence. He squared to the onrushing Janvier who poked home.
The influential Janvier then found space in front of the Syrian defence and slid in Claude Maurice, who cut in from the right hand side. It was a straightforward finish for the FC Lorient man after rounding Ghannam.
The victory means France top Group F and will return to Puerto Montt for their Round of 16 match against the second-placed side in the wide open Group E - whose placings will be decided tonight. The Syrians head home with just the one point, in their goalless draw against New Zealand, to show for their efforts in Chile.