Mbappe scores late, France tie the United States in World Cup warm-up

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-10 08:37:55|Editor: ZD
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PARIS, June 9 (Xinhua) -- France's promising star Kylian Mbappe scored a late goal on Saturday to earn his team a 1-1 draw with the United States in their final warm-up ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Mbappe directed right back substitute Benjamin Pavard's cross into the net with 12 minutes from time, after the visitors broke the deadlock in Lyon just before the interval through French defender Djibril Sidibe's clumsy clearance.

France head coach Didier Deschamps put Mbappe along with Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann up in front.

Midfielder Paul Pogba also started despite being jeered by fans for his sloppy performance against Italy a week ago. He kicked off Les Bleus' offense with a shot hitting the post eight minutes into the match.

Mbappe and Griezmann were also close to opening their scoring, but the hosts paid their price for a defensive blunder in opponents' final attack in the first half.

Starting right back Sidibe cleared the ball in Julian Green's path and then faltered. The American forward swiveled for a shot that beat veteran goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 44th minute.

Dissatisfied with the attack, Deschamps sent a few substitutes onto the pitch, among whom Pavard lived up to the plan, as his astute right-flank cross released Mbappe to side-foot home in the 78th minute.

Another substitute Nabil Fekir, recently linked with a move to Premier League side Liverpool, saw his free-kick parried away by American goalkeeper Zack Steffen.

Steffen extinguished France's chance to seal the victory, as he consecutively denied last-gasp attempts from Fekir and Ousmane Dembele in stoppage time.

France will kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16, before meeting Peru and Denmark in Group C.