World Cup winners France edge past Uruguay
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France's World Cup winning boss Didier Deschamps declared himself happy with his side's work over the past 12 months following their 1-0 victory over Uruguay on Tuesday night at the Stade de France. Olivier Giroud scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot early in the second half.
Despite sporting Barcelona's Luis Suarez and Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, Uruguay rarely threatened the French rearguard missing the centre back duo of Rapahel Varane and Samuel Umtiti who were crucial to their success in Russia.
"It's good to finish the year on a positive note," said Deschamps. "It's not only the fact that we won but we also had a few players making their debuts."
Ferland Mendy, 23 and his Lyon teammate, Tanguy Ndombélé, were the new boys in the starting 11 which featured seven players who lined up at kick-off against Croatia in the World Cup final in July
"As a team we did lots of good things against a Uruguay team that's no pushover. Suarez and Cavani defend from the front," said Deschamps who lost star striker Kylian Mbappé to injury after 36 minutes.
The 19-year-old went off after injury his shoulder in a collision with the Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Campana. The PSG frontman was replaced by Florian Thauvin.
"We didn't give them many chances," added Deschamps. "And it was a good response to the defeat against the Netherlands last Friday.
"It's been a positive year for us. Every team in the world would give everything to have what we had last summer."
France's next competitive match will take place in March as part of the qualifications for the European championships in 2020.
France will be with Belgium, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Poland among the top seeds.
"We've got four months back with our clubs for a lot of important games," said France midfielder Blaise Matuidi. "Those matches are what we have to think about for the moment and then we'll get back together for the internationals in March.
"Hopefully it will be with the same desire that we had in 2018. It has been a really wonderful year with us winning the World Cup. But 2018 is over and we have to look ahead."