Live Commentary: France 1-1 USA - as it happened

Live Commentary: France 1-1 USA - as it happened
© AP Photos
Live text commentary as France took on the USA in the Under-20 World Cup Group A.

France took on USA in the second matchday of Group A in the Under-20 World Cup knowing that a win would see them through to the next round.

After a drab first half, the game came to life with Yaya Sanogo opening the scoring from the penalty spot.

Luis Gil then missed a penalty of his own, before USA earned a late equaliser through Daniel Cuevas's poked effort.

Read how the action unfolded below.

3.31pmHello everyone and thanks for joining me this afternoon for this Under-20 World Cup Group A clash between France and USA.

3.33pmIt's only matchday two, but depending on the result here France could find themselves in the next round and the USA all-but out. As it stands France are second and the USA bottom.

3.36pmFrance at times played some very good football against the 2009 champions Ghana. They initially lacked a cutting edge in front of goal, but quickly put that behind them to score three very nice goals.

3.40pmUSA, on the other hand, were undone by the incisiveness that Spain have across all levels. Just as the Under-21s showed with their recent success, the U20s were not to be outdone. That said, USA's performance was not without any positives - Luis Gil's goal was good, albeit only a consolation, but it will show them that they can trouble the world's best. Which, at this level, France are one of.

3.44pmCaptain Paul Pogba did not have his best game against Ghana, but he is key to this side. I expect him to be involved with everything this afternoon, and that's before the pace of their wingers comes into play.

3.45pmIt's about time I mentioned the lineups - coming right up.

3.49pmFRANCE XI: Areola; Foulquier, Umtiti, Sarr, Digne; Pogba, Kondogbia, Lemina; Thauvin, Bahebeck, Sanogo

3.51pmUSA XI: Cropper; Yedlin, O'Neill, Torre, Ocegueda; Trapp, Joya, Gil; Villarreal, Rodriguez, Hernandez

3.54pmStandout names from that French XI include Luca Digne at left-back and Arsenal-bound Yaya Sanogo. Digne was outstanding and tireless against the Ghanaians. Sanogo showed some nice touches and scored a good goal, but I did expect a better link from him to the midfield.

3.55pmSeveral French players do look like they couldn't get to grips with the Turkish plug sockets - there's an awful lot of hair gone haywire out there.

3.57pmFor the US, I've got my eye on LA Galaxy's Jose Villareal. He's one of the top prospects in the MLS and if he plays well they do stand a chance - albeit a minor one.

3.59pmA look at the odds tells me that USA are not being given much of a chance. They are at around 6/1 if you fancy a gamble (and it is one). The best odds you'll get for France? 2/5. The handshakes are done the toss is over and we're almost set.

0 minKICKOFF: Les Bleus get us underway in Istanbul.

2 minIt's a bright start for the French, who are keeping the ball nicely early on. Florian Thauvin is almost away down the right, but he's closed off so they go back. They come down the other side through Digne, who wins an early corner with a deep cross.

5 minUSA have got themselves into the game a little here, and are seeing a bit more of the ball. Lemina is fouled by Ocegueda as France looked to break - a good foul, really.

7 minGood play as Sanogo brings it down and looks for Foulquier to his right. However, when they try to work it into the box the US defence remains strong and Gil wins a free kick against Sanogo.

9 minThere's much counter-attacking intent from the USA. Yedlin's cross-field pass is overhit as he advanced into the French half and at the other end Sanogo is strong to win a free kick.

11 minFrom it, USA break and win a free kick of their own. There have been a lot of niggly fouls in the last few minutes, which has really stopped the game flowing. Gil has space outside the box and tries a half-volley towards the top corner, but he cannot get it down and under the bar - decent effort, though.

13 minCLOSE! Bahebeck swings in a free kick from nearly the byline. It avoids almost everyone but Pogba sticks out a leg at the far post, but directs it not too far wide of the post.

15 minVery, very scrappy stuff just lately. The Pogba effort is the closest we've had to a chance, but really he'd have done well to get it on target. Passes are not hitting their target from either side at the moment.

17 minSAVE! Thuavin tries to break through on the left. He gets past a couple of challenges before mishitting his cross to the hands of Cody Cropper. Then it comes to Sanogo from an angle just inside the box - his half-volley forces Cropper into a diving save to tip over.

19 minSanogo is really putting himself about. Torre follows him deep to win a header, but the striker positioned himself really well to force the foul - he wasn't likely to lose that battle.

21 minThe Americans are really struggling to get any possession. They seem to panic with the ball and end up lumping it straight back to France. It's surely just a matter of time before the men in blue break through.

23 minA good strike from Thauvin there from just outside the box. Cropper might have been beaten if it was on target, but his effort skimmed a yard or two over the bar.

25 minThauvin's free kick from the right is deflected, then headed back into the are by a French head. It goes right through to the keeper, though. On the left Digne again busts a gut to get forward, but USA manage to clear his cross.

27 minWhat a waste for America! Rodriguez has the ball in space, but instead of shooting he waits for the run of Gil. However, he waits so long his teammate is offside when the ball is played to him. That was a three-on-two briefly. At the other end Sanogo turns superbly and Ocegueda buys the dummy and brings him down.

29 minUSA think Bahebeck is offside or that the ball is going out of play - but neither is true and the winger gets to it. He finds Sanogo in the box who tries an audacious flick, but it had no power and is easy for Cropper.

31 minThere's a real lack of quality in the opening 30 minutes. France are the better side, and they are looking confident, but they don't really deserve to be ahead. USA haven't been close to testing Areola.

33 minGood pass from Thauvin, who dissects the defence to find Foulquier on the outside. It eventually falls to Sanogo, who can't turn to get a shot away and Pogba tries a special from about 35 yards but needless to say it goes well off target.

37 minWill Trapp tries his own effort from range, but it's blocked and was never a threat.

39 minI'd be surprised if we saw a goal now before the break. France have looked more likely to make something happen, but there hasn't been a clear cut chance as yet.

42 minThe atmosphere (or lack of) is really not helping here either. Pogba drives an angled ball into the advancing Foulquier, but Cropper comes out bravely to beat the right-back to the ball - good keeping.

44 minJust a minute or so left in this, and it's difficult to pinpoint why exactly it's been so dull. USA have been very rigid and tough to break down but France have lacked a cutting edge.

45+1 minCHANCE! What a chance late on for USA! Gil is played in and only has the keeper to beat, but it was a really bad effort and he made it too easy for Areola down low.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: France 0-0 USA

4.48pmWell it came to life right at the end of the half with that late chance, but that was little more than gloss on what was frankly a poor 45 minutes of football. France started brightly with good passing, but really struggled to carve open a very dogged American side.

4.52pmAs it happened that late chance for Gil was the best of the half so far. He should have done a lot better, too, and USA should be celebrating an unlikely lead at the break.

4.56pmAside from that, Cropper was called into action to tip over a Sanogo snap-shot and there were a couple of half-chances for Les Bleus. In truth, neither side deserves to be winning and 0-0 is about right for the game at the moment. It can only improve, right?

5pmAlmost ready for the second half. We could see changes at the break if either coach isn't happy. Certainly Pierre Mankowski shouldn't be chuffed with his side.

5.03pmSUBSTITUTIONS: As I suspect. Axel Ngando of Rennes is coming on at the break, with Thauvin replaced. But also Oscar Sorto is on for Hernandez for America.

45 minKICKOFF: We're back underway, with a change for each side. Will the subs prove successful?

46 minGood early pace from Bahebeck, who is away but pushed slightly wide. The angle is tight for his left foot and despite getting it on target Cropper is down to make a comfortable save.


48 minGOAL! France 1-0 USA (Sanogo, pen)

48 minIt might be on the edge of the box, but Torre deserves that for a frankly terribly timed tackle on Foulquier. It's not a good penalty at all from Sanogo, with Cropper getting a big touch but not quite enough to keep it out. France lead.

50 minIn theory, that penalty should start a glut of goals for France, but since it USA have looked the more attacking side.

52 minFoulquier again tries to break down the right. A couple of stepovers and a dummy later, and his cross is poor and easily cleared. Bahebeck is looking very lively and manages to resurrect a lost cause on the left, but the move breaks down.

54 minUSA have passed it better than they have all game since going behind. Villarreal has some nice touches in the final third, but the link with his teammates just hasn't quite been there.

56 minI had hoped that the goal would bring some life into the game, but it's still being played like a behind closed doors friendly. USA want a foul when Lemina shoves Villarreal, but it was just good strength from where I'm sitting.

59 minCHANCE! Sanogo should have made it 2-0. Now France are passing well and the striker is played through one-on-one. He has to score, but Cropper came out well to make a good save. That's more bad miss than good goalkeeping, though.

62 minBOOKING: Sorto is booked for a late lunge on Kondogbia. A little nasty, but nothing really in it. Fair booking.

63 minBahebeck sees the glory and shoots from fully 40 yards from the free kick. Wasteful - that's all you can say.


65 minSAVED! It's sloppy from Lemina on Rodriguez. He has his arms up but clipped him from behind. After a lengthy delay, Gil steps up and passes it low and to the middle of the goal - easy stop for Areola, and it's cleared for a corner. Poor.

67 minOFF THE BAR! What an effort from Bahebeck! A bit closer than the free kick he tried a while ago, but still. He cuts inside and smacks it - it's whipping and curling towards the corner but rattles the bar and comes back out. Great effort.

68 minFrance are piling on the pressure now. Presumably the penalty has awoken them, as Digne fizzes across a cross but it just misses the attacking heads.

70 minUSA are much better this half, as Sorto makes a good run down the right to earn a corner. However, it's played short and eventually wasted.

74 minFRANCE SUB: Bahebeck comes off for Veretout. He's been probably the best player on the pitch in this half, an excellent turnaround from the opening 45.

76 minMISS! Sanogo, under immense pressure from Torre, stays on his feet and puts the ball wide of the post. That's arguably a penalty, as well, and he's been penalised for his honesty.

78 minAreola, who possibly thinks he's been a little quiet, dives across his line to save a possible corner. He could have held it, but in the end almost fumbles it over his own line. Bizarre.

80 minIt's Yedlin's turn to hurl himself to the floor in the box, but as he burst into the box he's clearly looking for it and the referee was well-placed. No penalty is probably the right call after a bit of a coming together with Digne.

82 minBOOKING: Ambitious flick-on at the near post from Trapp at a corner, and it's deflected for another. Pogba then gets booked for tugging Joya and he now misses the Spain game. Joya, also booked, will miss the Ghana match.

84 minGOAL! France 1-1 USA (Cuevas)

86 minSarr is now booked for a foul right on the edge of the box. From the free kick it's played low into the box and following a scramble falls to Cuevas who pokes it into the corner with his left foot. USA are level! They deserve that for their response since going behind.

88 minUSA SUB: Joya comes off for Miguel Lopez. Pogba tries something from a free kick on the edge of the box, but clips it to the far post and out of play. Wasteful.

90 minDigne fires in an absolutely glorious cross from the left. It needs just a touch, but no-one can get on the end of it and it goes out of play.

90+2 minFULL-TIME: France 1-1 USA

5.54pmSo USA live to fight another day, and France must wait to confirm their place in the next round. Thanks for joining me for this one, and please stick around for reaction and more games live later. Goodbye.

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