Six-star France take down New Zealand

France opened up their FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 campaign in style on Monday, beating New Zealand 6-1 in impressive fashion at the Estadio Chinquihue in Puerto Montt.

Les Bleuets lived up to their status as reigning European champions at the age level and came out flying. After several chances New Zealand finally succumbed to the continuous French pressure a quarter-of-an-hour in. Left back James McGarry was unlucky to but the ball in his own net when trying to clear a through ball put in by Bilal Boutobba.

France continued to attack freely, but a combination of poor finishing, strong tackles and some brave goalkeeping by Michael Woud meant Les Bleuets struggled to pull away from the Young All Whites until Boutobba doubled France’s lead near the half-hour mark with a quick cutback inside New Zealand’s area and a powerful shot past New Zealand’s No1. Two minutes later, Christ Maouassa beat Woud to the near post to make it 3-0.

Mamadou Doucoure scored an uncontested header off a corner kick from the left side and just before the break Les Bleuets made it 5-0 just before the break when Alec Georgen finished off a great pass from captain Thimote Cognat. With the three points all but secured after the first 45 minutes France sat back in the second-half and absorbed the occasional attack from the Young All Whites.

Logan Rogerson squandered a great a chance to pull one back in the 65th minute for New Zealand after some great work by Luca Imrie but the No10 mishit his shot and Luca Zidane comfortably saved. But with 15 minutes remaining McGarry made amends for his earlier own goal by putting New Zealand on the scoresheet, tapping home from six yards after good build up by Rogerson.

In the final minute of stoppage time, Odsonne Edouard scored a sixth for France with a fine bit of individual skill. The impressive victory puts Les Bleuets at least temporarily atop Group F with Paraguay and Syria in action later on Monday evening as both sides will be back in action on Thursday.

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