International

Internationals: Olivier Giroud scores in comfortable France victory

Olivier Giroud continued his excellent goalscoring form on the international stage as France beat Albania 4-1 in Paris.

Giroud had already had one opportunity to net against Albania when he did so emphatically with 27 minutes played to put the French 2-0 up, Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman having opened the scoring early on.

France cut the visitors open with Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez involved in the build-up. The latter’s low pass found our striker unmarked in front of goal and he neatly tucked home on his left foot via the inside of the post.

It was Giroud’s eighth goal in his last nine games at the Stade de France and his 36th international goal in total, the third-highest figure in French history. He is now five goals behind Michel Platini in that regard.

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Griezmann missed a penalty before half-time but Albania offered little threat against the world champions, who added two more goals after the break. Coman got his second on 68 minutes and sub Jonathan Ikone, a 21-year-old Lille winger making his international debut, completed the scoring late on. There was just enough time for an Albania consolation from the penalty spot after a Hugo Lloris foul so the final score was 4-1 to the home side. Giroud completed the 90 minutes.

France stay top of Group H in qualifying for next summer’s European Championships, although it remains incredible tight. They are tied on 12 points with Iceland, who beat Moldova, and Turkey, who required an 89th-minute winner to get the better of Andorra, who were searching for their first ever competitive draw in European Championship qualifying.

All three teams have played five games. France host Andorra on Tuesday.

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