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France U23 - United States: Diouf convincing, Cherki frustrating... The tops and the flops


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France U23 - United States: Diouf convincing, Cherki frustrating... The tops and the flops


Andy Diouf was one of the only ones to shine fully during the sluggish draw conceded by the French under-23 team against the United States in Sochaux (2-2). The Lensois did not have a chance against Ivory Coast on Friday. Established this Monday, he finally got it. Placed in midfield alongside Koné and Akliouche, the former FC Basel player showed more desire than the others, and this was seen by his projections, leading to a post in the first period (24th ). More discreet in the second, he still made the break for his team thanks to a flat foot (79th), just like his match. Unlike others, he managed to score points before the Olympics.

Although their list is much less impressive than that of the Bleuets, the Americans had nothing to envy them this Monday evening. From the start, they were the ones who showed up first, having targeted a specific weak point: the centers. A miss, and a reflex stop from Guillaume Restes, then they had a dip, before attacking again in the second act. McGuire and Paredes were the most dangerous, even if they lacked skill in front of the cage. But at 2-0, the Americans did not say their last word, and found the resources to refuse defeat. Yow and Cowell scored in quick succession (86th and 89th), allowing their team to snatch a symbolic but important draw before meeting the Blues in Paris this summer at the opening of the Olympics.


This last meeting of the Hopes before the big summer deadline should be one of certainties for Thierry Henry and his staff. In the end, the French coach is no further ahead than at the start. 'Titi' did not have the opportunity to count on his entire group. Joris Chotard and Georginio Rutter withdrew after the announcement of the list, Malo Gusto was the first to fall ill, followed by Lenny Yoro, Enzo Millot, then Bradley Locko right during the match. To make matters worse, Bradley Barcola and Manu Koné were injured. The coach was the first to complain about it after the match: “We simply can’t make changes. Bradley (Locko) fell ill during the match, this is the fourth sick player we have had this week. The project is still underway four months before the Games.

If there is one player on this list who needs to prove his worth to Thierry Henry, it’s him. First put aside by his coach, he was finally chosen at the last minute following Rutter's withdrawal. He therefore had everything to gain during this last gathering before the Olympics. Thanks to his good start against Ivory Coast, he was started this Monday evening in the French attack. Far from being at his best level, he was, as usual, frustrating in his ball handling. With a few extra touches, imprecise passes, and too much sloppiness, he was unable to lead the U23 game as his coach would have liked. Even worse, in the second half and before giving up his place, he began to juggle twice in the American area. Surprising. It was not with this match that Rayan Cherki passed the expected milestone.

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