France kept their hopes alive at the top of the Nations League as Olivier Giroud became the oldest goalscorer in their history in a 2-0 home defeat to Austria.
Kylian Mbappe broke the deadlock in the 56th minute with a cool finish after beating five defenders on a perfect pass from Giroud, before the Milan attacker scored a header from a flawless Antoine Griezmann cross four minutes later.
Giroud, who once again proved to his manager, Didier Deschamps, that he is more than a third-choice centre-forward, is 35 years and 357 days old – 70 days older than France’s previous oldest goalscorer Roger Marche was when he scored. against Spain in December 1959.
France’s victory came at a cost, however, as defender Jules Koundé and goalkeeper Mike Maignan suffered injuries. They were able to join Karim Benzema, Hugo Lloris and Paul Pogba on the sidelines.
France, which travels to Denmark on Sunday, climbed to third place in League A Group 1 with the victory with five points from as many games. Deschamps said: “We did what we had to do. Our intentions were good, everyone defended a lot, there are many positives. The mentality was good, it was a very good performance.”
The Croatia substitute Lovro Majer’s late goal sealed a 2-1 win against Denmark in the group’s other game, with its winner just two minutes after the visiting captain, Christian Eriksen, had scored a brilliant equalizer.
Borna Sosa opened the scoring for the hosts with a fine finish four minutes after the break, but a moment of magic from Eriksen seemed to secure a point when he put in a brilliant shot in the 77th minute.
The relief was short-lived, however, as Majer picked up the ball on the edge of the penalty area and rattled it past Kasper Schmeichel. Croatia now leads the group by 10 points, one lead over Denmark.
Cody Gakpo scored early and Steven Bergwijn added a second to take the . to earn The Netherlands a 2-0 win Poland.
Gakpo’s 13th-minute opener at Narodowy stadium came to the end of a slick passing move as the striker tapped in Denzel Dumfries’ centimeter-perfect square pass after the Polish defense was broken up.
Bergwijn doubled the lead in the 60th minute, coming in through the left wing to play a smart one-two with substitute Vincent Janssen and skillfully curled the ball into the net. Louis van Gaal’s side have now won four of their five matches in League A Group 4 and are three points clear of Belgium, who defeated Wales 2-1.
Turkey and Luxembourg played a six-goal thriller in League C Group 1, with Ismail Yuksek scoring in the 87th minute to save a 3-3 draw for the hosts, while the group’s other game also ended in a stalemate when Lithuania kept the Faroe Islands to a 1-1 draw.