Watch Highlights & Review: France vs South Africa
Tournament: Olympic Games
Date : 25-July-2021
France vs South Africa Review
Hat-trick Hero Gignac Keeps French Olympic Hopes Alive
France earned their first points in Group A after an entertaining 4-3 comeback win. ‘Bafana Bafana’ led three times in a frantic second half, but André-Pierre Gignac’s hat-trick inspired a French victory.
France started positively in an end-to-end first half but South Africa grew into the match as striker Evidence Magkopa rattled the post. Veteran striker André-Pierre Gignac was denied by a marginal offside on the half-hour mark before Kobamelo Kodisang won a penalty for ‘Bafana Bafana’ following Lucas Tousart’s mistimed challenge. However, Luther Singh couldn’t convert, clipping to the crossbar with a rising strike.
South Africa opened the scoring minutes into the second half when Paul Bernardoni and Clément Michelin failed to clear a through ball allowing a lively Kodisang to intercept and pass into an empty net. France equalised on 57 minutes as debutant Randal Kolo Muani dribbled to the byline and cut back to Gignac, who shot low underneath Ronwen Williams. ‘Bafana Bafana’ quickly reclaimed their lead when Kodisang crossed from the right and Magkopa volleyed past Bernardoni at the near post. France then equalised again with 10 minutes left as Michelin found space on the right and chipped into Gignac, who headed in powerfully.
Teboho Mokoena added a third for South Africa in the closing stages, lashing in an unstoppable strike from 25 yards. However, ‘Les Bleuets’ came back once more, this time from the spot, as Williams raced out from goal and took down Arnaud Nordin. Gignac fired the penalty into the top corner to complete his hat-trick. In the dying seconds, Téji Savanier lashed in a low strike from the edge of the area to win it for France.
It was a vital three points for France won in dramatic fashion. Savanier’s strike puts the French in a strong position heading into a final Group A fixture against Japan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, it was heartache for South Africa who could be eliminated from the Olympics if Japan and Mexico draw later today.