Griezmann Brace Inspired France Victory Against Finland

Antoine Griezmann scored twice as defending champions France took another step towards Qatar 2022 with a 2-0 victory over Finland in Lyon.

The 2018 World Cup winners coped without injured Kylian Mbappe as Griezmann combined with Karim Benzema for both of France’s goals – his 39th and 40th international strikes as he drew level with Michel Platini in the all-time scoring charts for his nation.

Griezmann made the surprise move of transfer deadline day when he left Barcelona to re-join Atletico Madrid.

The 30-year-old has yet to play for his new club but has now scored three goals in his last three international appearances.

After a frustrating 1-1 draw with Ukraine in their last game, the victory was a welcome boost for the French who are still smarting after crashing out of Euro 2020 at the last 16 stage this summer.

“We did not do everything well but we have rediscovered our confidence,” said France coach Didier Deschamps.

“This puts our fate in our hands and we must finish the job in November.”

The victory moves France up to 12 points at the top of Group D, seven clear of second-placed Ukraine, who have played a game fewer, and nine clear of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kazakhstan, who draw 2-2 on Tuesday.