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France U23-Ivory Coast: Cherki changes everything, ghostly Wahi... The tops and the flops


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France U23-Ivory Coast: Cherki changes everything, ghostly Wahi... The tops and the flops


While he has been a success in Ligue 1 since his arrival in Lorient this winter, Mohamed Bamba has not failed in his task with his selection. Established at the forefront of the Ivorian attack, the Merlus scorer gave the French defenders a very long and tough evening. With a very high block, the Bleuets were exposed to the percussion of the opposing attackers, but certainly did not expect to suffer so much. In his deep grip, Bamba was excellent and more than once hurt the French block. Initially clumsy in the last gesture, he was finally rewarded in the second half. Served at point blank range in the area, he did not lack the composure to perfectly adjust Lucas Chevalier to give the Ivory Coast the advantage. Unfortunately for him and... fortunately for France, the Bleuets won (3-2) anyway.

In the duel of attackers playing in Ligue 1, Rennais hit very hard. Désiré Doué stood out for his realism this Friday evening against Ivory Coast. In the first period, he created his first goal like a big man after putting good pressure on the opposing goalkeeper, pushing him to make a mistake (37th). Rather discreet afterwards, he suffered like the rest of the team but did not hesitate to come down to help his block in recovering the ball. At the end of the match, he took the victory ball perfectly with a magnificent pigeon wing and showed all the lucidity necessary to adjust the opposing goalkeeper after having eliminated his defender. A complete performance from start to finish, which allows him to score a lot of points in this race for the Olympics.

Also read: Henry after Barcola's injury: “Disappointed for him, for PSG, that's not the goal”

In 22 minutes, Rayan Cherki showed why he deserves to be part of Thierry Henry's list for the Olympic Games next summer. Called up at the last minute within the group and came on in the 68th minute, while the Bleuets were suffering and having difficulty getting the balls out, the Lyonnais shined in the midfield. In the role of a free electron, he did not hesitate to drop out to get the ball at his feet in the middle of the field. Thus, he had a clear vision of the playing area and could serve his partners in the best possible conditions. It was he who sent Wilson Odobert towards the French equalizer in the 72nd minute. He multiplied the runs and dribbles, even treating the public with a small bridge on the last block of this game before being mowed down by his defender. Asked on the L'Equipe channel, coach Henry did not even want to dwell too much on the winning entry of Gone, as his talents are obvious: "We are not going to talk about Rayan (Cherki), because we know the quality.”


If Doué scored points, Elye Wahi lost some, he who seemed to have found his form in recent weeks with RC Lens. He fell back into his mistakes at the start of the season. Invisible in the first period, the former Montpellier player neither managed to get behind the defense to show off his speed, nor managed to break away to serve as a relay for his teammates. Even if the latter are certainly not exempt from all criticism for his poor number of balls touched in the evening, the Sang et Or scorer has never managed to find his place in this team which is nevertheless inclined towards a very offensive vocation. He must now make up for it during the Bleuets' next match, Monday evening in Sochaux against the United States.

Also read “Annoyed with myself”: Thierry Henry blames himself after the narrow victory against Ivory Coast

The French bloc had great difficulty containing the Ivorian races. From the start of the match, the French defenders showed signs of unusual excitement for players at this level. On the first deep balls towards Bamba, the Ivorians quickly understood that something was achievable in the face of such a lost block. Positioning themselves very high in attack, they did not have the physical qualities to catch up with their opponents on lightning counters where they created more than significant imbalances. On the two goals returning from the locker room, the entire back line lacked fighting spirit and the Ivorians managed to get in at point blank range to adjust Lucas Chevalier who was unable to do anything.

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