Masculins / Internationals

Abidal and Malouda on show

Published on 28 May 2006 at 2:24 PM
It’s the final straight before the World Cup in Germany kicks-off in just 12 days time. 5 Lyon players were in action this weekend, with left-sided France players Florent Malouda and Eric Abidal very much on show in Les Bleus 1-0 win over Mexico.
While all eyes at the Stade de France were on captain Zinédine Zidane making his 100th appearance in a France shirt, it was the Lyon duo that stole the show. Left-back in te first half before moving into the centre of defence after the break, Eric Abidal was solid and made a number of inspired tackles. Flo Malouda was the game’s only scorer. From a Djibril Cissé cross just before the break, the Lyon midfielder controlled the ball with his chest before unleashing a thunderous drive home off the underside of the Mexican crossbar.
Introduced after the break at the expense of Patrick Vieira, Sylvain Wiltord also took part in this World Cup warm-up match. In one half of football, ‘Nino’ underlined his importance to the France squad by starting on the rightside of midfield before partnering Cissé in attack.
On Wednesday, Les Bleus head to Lens’ Stade Bollaert for their penultimate friendly match before Germany 2006, against Denmark.

In the starting line-up for Switzerland’s match against the Ivory Coast in Basel, Patrick Müller was replaced in the 29th minute by Auxerre’s Stephane Grichting, as a precautionary measure after injuring his ankle. The match ended in a 1-1 draw after Nantes’ Emerse Faé cancelled out Swiss Tranquillo Barnetta’s opener.
Switzerland take on Italy next Wednesday.

And finally Portugal easily defeated Cape Verde. PSG striker Pauleta got a hat-trick as Portugal ran out 4-1 winners. Tiago came on as a second half sub, replacing Petit in the 66th minute.