Thursday 18 July 2019

Video: Dimitri Payet scored another sumptuous free-kick as France defeated Cameroon

France's forward Dimitri Payet celebrates after scoring a goal during the International friendly football match between France and Cameroon at the Beaujoire stadium, in Nantes
France's forward Dimitri Payet celebrates after scoring a goal during the International friendly football match between France and Cameroon at the Beaujoire stadium, in Nantes

Dimitri Payet's stunning last-minute free-kick clinched France a 3-2 win in an entertaining friendly against Cameroon in Nantes.

West Ham midfielder Payet picked up where he had left off in the Barclays Premier League this season to steal the plaudits after Maxim Choupo-Moting's late equaliser looked to have sealed Cameroon a draw at Stade de la Beaujoire.

Blaise Matuidi's first-half opener had been cancelled out by Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar before Olivier Giroud gave Les Bleus an interval lead.

Cameroon were first to threaten after a cagey opening when Karl Toko Ekambi's 13th-minute shot from outside the penalty area was turned away by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the bottom corner.

But the home side took a 20th-minute lead through Matuidi's volley from the centre of the penalty area after Kingsley Coman's brilliant run and cross from the left.

Cameroon drew level a minute later with a superb move involving Eyong Enoh, whose throughball found Allan Nyom and the over-lapping full-back's excellent low cross to the far post was swept home first time by Aboubakar.

Nyom was in the thick of the action again, this time at the other end, in the 37th minute when his superbly-timed tackle in the area denied Matuidi a clear shot on goal.

But France regained the lead four minutes later with another eye-catching goal created by Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and finished with aplomb by Arsenal striker Giroud.

Pogba beat his man out wide on the right and swung in a pin-point cross that Giroud expertly side-footed home on the volley.

Cameroon defender Aurelien Chedjou fired wide early in the second half before Pogba forced a fine save from goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa, who turned away the former Manchester United player's shot which appeared destined for the top corner.

Leicester midfielder N'Golo Kante's effort from outside the area flashed wide soon after but clear-cut chances at either end dried up until Cameroon substitute Anatole Bertrand Abang's header from Clinton N'Jie's free-kick was narrowly off target.

France defender Adil Rami headed Payet's cross wide and substitute Yohan Cabaye was brilliantly foiled by Ondoa after being sent through one-on-one by Payet.

The game had reignited in the closing stages and Cameroon appeared to have secured a creditable draw in the 88th minute when a defensive mix up left substitute Choupo-Moting in the clear and he despatched the ball into the bottom corner.

But in the 90th minute France were awarded a free-kick when Franck Kom fouled Kante 25 yards out and Payet curled his superb free-kick into the top corner to win it for Les Bleus.

PA Media

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