Woeful France fail to have SINGLE TOUCH in Argentina box during first half of World Cup final

FRANCE failed to touch the ball in the Argentina box during their dismal first half – before Kylian Mbappe’s late double transformed the World Cup final.

France manager Didier Deschamps hauled off attackers Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud BEFORE the interval as Argentina led 2-0.

PAAntoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Adrien Rabiot say it all about French dejection after falling 2-0 behind to impressive Argentina in the World Cup final[/caption]

0 – France failed to attempt a shot or register a touch in the opposition box in the first half. Zéro. pic.twitter.com/jfyuvJOzxv

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 18, 2022

In contrast, Lionel Messi’s penalty opener and assist meant he had been involved in 20 goals – the most in the tournament since records began in 1966.

The body language of French players said it all as Argentina dominated from the start – despite bookies rating the final as the toughest to call ever.

And OptaJoe’s map of France’s touches in the opening 45 minutes showed how little they threatened down the middle.

Deschamps’ men never got in the opposition penalty area and, when they came close it was nearly always on the left flank.

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Demeble was replaced by fellow wideman Marcus Thuram and Eintracht Frankfurt striker Kolo Muani came on for Giroud in a double swap on 41 minutes.

But the French were still kept at arm’s length until the final quarter of the contest.

Antoine Griezmann – arguably France’s finest player in Qatar so far – was replaced by Kingsley Coman in the 71st minute.

But it was Muani who looked the liveliest – and won a penalty on 80 minutes drilled home by Kylian Mbappe.

It was the first time PSG superstar looked a danger.

And suddenly France and Mbappe looked transformed – as he fired a leveller.

GettyFrance hauled off attackers Ousmane Dembele and Olivier Giroud before half-time as Argentina dominated the first 45 minutes FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)[/caption]

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