Squares around the world enjoyed two injury time goals from the Euro 2016 tournament host nation France. Wagers were heavily off-balance with punters expecting the high-ranking French squad to power through a lowly Albanian side.
Things were looking like we were heading towards our first scoreless match of the tournament. The French side could not seem to head their crosses in the right direction. Oliver Giroud took a beating on Twitter after missing countless opportunities. The draw was broken in the 90th minute of play with Griezmann fired one home. While this brought joy to countless parlay and accumulator bettors, handicap market squares still needed another to cover the -1.5. After a head-to-head collision brought a brief stoppage in extra time, Payet scored one off the counter at 90+6′. This gave France a 2-0 win, narrowly covering the spread.
What We Learned
If their first match against Romania was not indication enough, today’s bout clearly revealed France’s flaws. There is no coordination in their offensive efforts. It’s a sum of all parts without the actual sum. Even when competing against a weak side, players must work together in order to produce as much offensive opportunities as possible when in possession of the ball. Bringing the ball up-field only to lose it in the legs of a defending player ultimately lead to France having zero shots on target through the first 90 minutes of play.
While a lot of people are questioning if France has what it takes once they reach a real opponent in the elimination rounds, I personally think this is a good thing. We have seen far too often what happens to teams that believe they are good enough to forego improvement.