10-man France hold out for draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina

·2-min read

France drew 1-1 with Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday night in Strasbourg after playing for nearly 45 minutes with 10 men in the 2022 World Cup qualifier.

Defender Jules Kounde, playing only his second game for the senior side, was initially shown a yellow card after 51 minutes for hacking down Sead Kolasinac.

But referee Sandro Scharer reviewed the tackle with video assistants and changed the colour to red to dispatch the 22-year-old Frenchman.

Despite receiving treatment, Kolasinac was unable to continue and was replaced by Eldar Civic.

With the advantage, Bosnia kept possession of the ball in an attempt to wear down the world champions.

Instead the ploy brought out a determined display.

"It's not easy with 10 men," France midfielder Paul Pogba told French broadcaster M6. "When we were down to 10 we couldn't make the openings.

"We were on top of them when it was 11 against 11 but a man down ... it was tough. In the end we didn't let them score and we've got a point."

Bosnia took the lead at the Stade de la Meinau through skipper Edin Dzeko.

The veteran picked up the ball 40 metres from goal and ran at the heart of the French defence. His shot from just outside the box took a slight deflection to steer it past the France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Parity

But within five minutes the sides were level. Antoine Griezmann nudged the ball over the line following a goalmouth scramble.

For all their dominance, the visitors wer unable to exploit their advantage.

The stalemate leaves France top of Group D after four games with eight points.

Ukraine, France's next opponents on Saturday, lie second with four points following a 2-2 draw in Kazakhstan.

Bosnia and Herzegovina have two points from their three games.

"Obviously it is more difficult with only 10 players," said France boss Didier Deschamps. "We were able to reorganise effectively and we have one point more.

"Now we'll have to see how our other two games go."

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