Sunday 4 December 2016

Euro round-up: France crush Scotland while Germany head to France on back of a win

Published 04/06/2016 | 22:31

France's Laurent Koscielny (21) celebrates after scoring with team-mates
France's Laurent Koscielny (21) celebrates after scoring with team-mates

France concluded their preparations for the European Championships with a commanding and classy 3-0 victory against Scotland.

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An Olivier Giroud double and a header from his Arsenal team mate Laurent Koscielny gave the impressive Euro 2016 hosts a comfortable half-time lead at the Stade Saint-Symphorien in Metz.

Fortunately for Scotland, substitutions interrupted France's rhythm in the second half, although Paul Pogba sent a free-kick crashing against the post just after the hour mark, allowing Gordon Strachan's side to escape with some dignity still remaining.

France have won eight of their last nine internationals, losing to England in November, and will begin the European Championships as favourites when they get the competition started against Romania on June 10.

World champions Germany rounded off their warm-up matches with a 2-0 home win against fellow Euro 2016 rivals Hungary thanks to an own goal from Adam Lang and a second-half effort from Thomas Muller.

Austria were the only team bound for France to lose on Saturday as they were defeated 2-0 in Vienna by the improving Dutch, who won courtesy of goals from Vincent Janssen and Georginio Wijnaldum as they continue to rebuild after failing to qualify for the finals.

Northern Ireland will fly out to Euro 2016 on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run having drawn 0-0 with Slovakia during a game where Aaron Hughes won his 100th cap in Trnava. It was also goalless between Estonia and Latvia, neither of whom will be in France.

Croatia recorded the biggest win in their history by thrashing minnows San Marino 10-0. Mario Mandzukic scored a first-half hat-trick and Nikola Kalinic added a second-half treble while Marko Pjaca, Darijo Srna, Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic were also on the score sheet.

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