Today, France faced off against group leaders Turkey. Tied on points, Les Bleus came into the match with a golden opportunity to lead the group. Four Bayern Munich players started — Lucas Hernandez at left-back, Benjamin Pavard at right-back, Clorentin Tolisso in midfield, and Kingsley Coman on the left wing. All would play 90 minutes except for Coman who was subbed out at the 87th minute.
Hernandez’s appearance comes much to the chagrin of Bayern’s staff who warned France of further injury to his knee and after he allegedly left practice early because of pain. France looked to avenge their 2-0 loss but could only manage a 1-1 draw at home.
The match started quite physically, as both Hernandez were Tolisso fouled in the first three minutes in addition to other fair but physical early challenges. The first 15 minutes were back and forth, but neither side had a shot on target or dangerous chance. Then, at the 17th minute, Coman beautifully set up FC Barcelona’s Antoine Griezemann with a back-heel pass, but the shot was saved by the Turkish goalkeeper, Mert Gunok, who came up with another save moments later after France recovered the rebound and put another shot on goal.
Coman went on to create multiple more chances in the first half, sending a cross in to Griezemann, whose header was easily saved, and another to Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko, whose shot on target was also saved. The second half ended without any more chances but with France comfortable in possession.
The beginning of the second half was similar to the first with an open, back-and-forth game. Lucas Hernandez committed a tactical foul that saw him get a yellow. Later Hernandez had a beautiful run but sent his shot well wide of the target. France opened up the scoring when Olivier Giroud entered the game. The Chelsea striker headed in an unchallenged corner kick.
Predictably, the game opened up afterwards as Turkey, who for much of the game sat back in defense, started to send men forward to try to draw the game. Turkey evened the score off a beautiful cross from a set piece that saw Kann Ayhan head in a goal at the near post.
Bayern players Pavard and Hernandez had similar games. They both played well in defense and in linking up with their teammates in the build-up and attack. Both were unable to connect on their crosses. All eyes were on Hernandez because of his injury problems, but he looked healthy and athletic throughout the match.
Corentin Tolisso had quite a game. He had several diagonal balls to switch the play of attack and also incisive through-balls that cut through the strong Turkish defense. He performed his defensive duties well, coming up with timely tackles and interceptions.
Kingsley Coman probably had the best performance out of the Bayern Munich players. However, he was much more effective in the first half than in the second. He expertly connected with Griezemann many times, creating chances for him and other teammates. Coman showed off his dribbling abilities, going by the Turkish defenders at ease.
France is probably disappointed not to get three points, but they are still likely to qualify for the Euro Cup the next international break. They are tied with Turkey on points but are in second place for losing the tiebreaker.