Kylian Mbappe sits out after France and Netherlands reach stalemate

Kylian Mbappe sits out after France and Netherlands reach stalemate

France and the Netherlands have entered the last 16 of Euro 2024 after a 0-0 draw in Leipzig, which failed to catch fire in the absence of Kylian Mbappe. The France captain played the entire match on the bench after breaking his nose in France's opening 1-0 win over Austria four days ago. Xavi Simons' goal for the Dutch was controversially ruled out, while Antoine Griezmann missed two great chances for France. The win leaves both teams tied on four points at the top of Group D, one ahead of Austria who beat Poland 3-1 on Friday. France will face Poland, while the Netherlands will face Austria in the section's final games on Tuesday.

When these two teams faced each other in qualifying, Les Bleus won both matches, but four of France’s six goals in those games were scored by Mbappe.

The Dutch side put an end to any French uncertainty within a minute, advancing along the orange wall that covered two-thirds of the Leipzig stadium.

Jeremie Frimpong's explosive pace put him close to goal but the Bayer Leverkusen man could not score and his shot was turned behind by Mike Maignan.

Aurelien Chouameni replaced Mbappe in the only change for France as coach Didier Deschamps sought an extra midfielder.

Without their captain and talisman, the 2022 World Cup finalists turned to Griezmann for inspiration.

The acting captain struck Bart Verbruggen's palms from distance.

But the Atletico Madrid forward had the biggest chance of all just before half-time that he couldn't forget.

Adrien Rabiot executed a complicated move, but when he decided to pass rather than shoot, Griezmann failed to get his shot off with his weaker right foot.

At the other end, Maignan had to make another superb save to his left to turn away Cody Gakpo’s drive.

France had the better chances in the second period.

Marcus Thuram hit a shot from the edge of the area that went slightly wide, before Tchouameni could not stop the header.

Griezmann, usually reliable, was once again guilty of a costly miss when his weak effort was turned behind in front of goal by Verbruggen.

But the highlight of the tournament's first goalless draw was that the Dutch team were denied a winning goal.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Simons scored from the rebound after Memphis Depay's save 18 minutes from time.

The goal was ruled offside by on-field officials as Denzel Dumfries was found to have interfered with Maignan's ability to stop the shot.

After a lengthy VAR check, which has been a rare occurrence in the tournament so far, the offside was confirmed and France were relieved of the match.

Deschamps turned down the chance to risk Mbappe in the closing stages and instead sent Olivier Giroud and Kingsley Coman onto the pitch in search of the winner.

But both teams were content with one point, which is enough to ensure their entry into the knockout stages as the safety net allows the four best third-placed teams to advance.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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