World Cup qualifier: Griezmann cancels out Dzeko opener as France held to draw

Antoine Griezmann scored France's equaliser as it drew with Bosnia-Herzegovina in World Cup qualifying.

Antoine Griezmann applauds afters the World Cup 2022 group D qualifying match between France and Bosnia at La Meinau stadium in Strasbourg, eastern France.   -  AP

France was held to a disappointing 1-1 home draw by Bosnia after playing almost half the game with 10 men in a World Cup Group D qualifier on Wednesday.

Nine weeks after its shock loss to Switzerland in the last 16 of Euro 2020, the world champion had Antoine Griezmann to thank for a quick equaliser after Edin Dzeko had put the visitor ahead in the first half.

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Didier Deschamps's side had Jules Kounde sent off for a rough tackle early in the second half, and although it dominated possession, it had to be content with sharing the points at Strasbourg's La Meinau stadium.

 

"It is obviously harder with 10 men. We had some chances but it is not the result we were looking for," France coach Didier Deschamps told M6.

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France remained unbeaten in four games and leads the group with eight points, four ahead of Ukraine, which was held to a 2-2 draw in Kazakhstan earlier on Wednesday.

The French next face Ukraine away on Saturday before hosting Finland next Tuesday, while Bosnia, which is fourth on two points from three matches, takes on Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

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France started with an intense pressing game, but Bosnia threatened through Miralem Pjanic and Dzeko, who opened the scoring from just inside the box with a low shot that went between the legs of Presnel Kimpembe on 36 minutes.

Dzeko's 60th goal in his 115th international was cancelled out three minutes later when Griezmann's attempted header from Kylian Mbappe's corner took a deflection off Dennis Hadzikadunic's thigh and went into the net.

A VAR review confirmed the ball had gone past the line, and Les Bleus were fortunate to reach the interval level at 1-1.

It became even harder for France when Kounde was shown a straight red card after a VAR review for a brutal tackle on Sead Kolasinac five minutes into the second half.

Midfielder Jordan Veretout made way for full-back Leo Dubois and although France continued to enjoy the majority of possession, it proved too clumsy in the area with Mbappe and Karim Benzema struggling to gel as a partnership.

Deschamps added fresh legs 14 minutes from time by replacing Griezmann and Benzema with Kingsley Coman and Anthony Martial, but they failed to conjure up a French winner.

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