Mbappe’s Return Can’t Spark France as Poland Hold Euro 2024 Contenders to 1-1 Draw

France’s stuttering Euro 2024 campaign continued on Tuesday as Kylian Mbappe’s return from injury was overshadowed by a disappointing 1-1 draw against a Poland side already eliminated from the competition.

Mbappe Makes Masked Marvel Return

Sporting a protective mask to shield his recently broken nose, Mbappe marked his comeback with his first ever European Championship goal. In the 56th minute, a clumsy challenge by Jakub Kiwior on Ousmane Dembele resulted in a penalty, which Mbappe coolly slotted home to break the deadlock and send the French fans into a brief frenzy.

This was also the first goal scored by any French player at Euro 2024, highlighting their attacking struggles in the tournament so far.

French Frustration Mounts

Despite Mbappe’s goal, France’s overall performance remained unconvincing. They dominated possession but lacked creativity, with several good chances falling to Mbappe, Theo Hernandez, Ousmane Dembele, and Bradley Barcola, all denied by the inspired Polish goalkeeper, Lukasz Skorupski.

Lewandowski Levels from the Spot

France’s lead proved short-lived. In the 79th minute, a controversial penalty decision saw Dayot Upamecano adjudged to have brought down Polish substitute Karol Swiderski. Robert Lewandowski stepped up to take the spot-kick, only for Mike Maignan to make a fantastic save. However, the referee ruled Maignan had come off his line too early, and Lewandowski retook the penalty, this time finding the net.

France Second in Group D

The draw means France finish second in Group D behind surprise group winners Austria. Their next opponent will be the second-placed team from Group E, which remains wide open with all four teams – Romania, Belgium, Slovakia, and Ukraine – still in contention.

While Mbappe’s return is a positive sign, questions linger over France’s form. Their lack of attacking fluency and defensive vulnerabilities is a challenge for the Euro 2024 title. Didier Deschamps’ side will need a significant improvement to progress in the knockout stages.

DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.

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