Oliver Giroud ensured France walked away with all three points after scoring a goal in their 1-0 victory over Iceland on Friday, October 11. The Chelsea striker found the back of the net in the 66th minute of the Group H clash in Reykjavik following a foul on striker Antoine Griezmann. With 37 international goals, Giroud is third in the all-time scoring standings for France, behind Thierry Henry on 51 and Michel Platini on 41.
Ahead of their clash against Iceland, France were without striker Kylian Mbappe, midfielder Paul Pogba and captain Hugo Lorris who were out due to injury. Lloris had dislocated elbow last weekend while playing for Tottenham. Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté also picked up a hamstring injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Moussa Sissoko in the starting 11.
The first half saw not many chances being created by either side. Griezmann had a chance to give France the lead but his free-kick was well off target. Giroud was given a yellow card after he protested against the referee for not giving France the penalty for handball by Kari Arnason. Iceland, on the other hand, came close to scoring when Jon Bodvarsson had a shot deflected by Mandanda. Birkir Bjarnason headed wide from a corner.
The only goal of the match came in 66th minute when Griezmann was fouled and Giroud made no mistake from the penalty spot to hand France the lead. Matuidi hit the post on the 77th minute after a neat cutback from Bayern Munich midfielder Kingsley Coman. Meanwhile, late substitute Wissam Ben Yedder almost added a late second. The victory helped Les Blues come level with leaders Turkey (18 points) at the top and six ahead of Iceland with three games to go. France now host Turkey in a crunch game at the Stade de France on Monday, having suffered a 0-2 defeat in Ankara in June.