Antoine Griezmann equalized for World Cup holders France as they drew with Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-1 in World Cup qualifying fixture at Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg on Wednesday, September 1st, 2021.
Les Bleus have eight points from four games, four more than second-placed Ukraine, who drew 2-2 in Kazakhstan and host France in the next game.
The frustrating result, following their disappointing last-16 exit at Euro 2020, nevertheless keeps France on course to top Group D and qualify automatically for the next World Cup.
They have eight points from four games, four more than second-placed Ukraine, who drew 2-2 in Kazakhstan on Wednesday and who host France in Kiev at the weekend.
Inter Milan’s Edin Dzeko gave the Bosnians the lead with an excellent drilled effort from outside the box.
Griezmann, who had re-joined Atletico Madrid from Barcelona less than 24 hours earlier, scored with a fortunate ricocheted effort – with VAR needed to see if the ball had crossed the line.
Jules Kounde was sent off for hosts France early in the second half.
The Sevilla defender, who Chelsea unsuccessfully tried to sign during the transfer window that closed on Tuesday, was initially given a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Sead Kolasinac – which was upgraded to a red by VAR.
Both Kounde’s red card and the Griezmann goal brought into sharp focus the belated introduction of VAR by UEFA for the World Cup qualifiers – it was not in use in the first three rounds of matches in March but has now been hastily implemented across the continent.
Griezmann’s goal was shown to have crossed the line, despite the efforts of Bosnian goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic to claw it away, after the Swiss officials reviewed the images.
Kounde had initially been shown a yellow card for his reckless tackle on Kolasinac but that was upgraded to red on review.
“It is obviously harder with 10 men. We had some chances but it is not the result we were looking for,” France coach Didier Deschamps told M6.
“Of course we wanted the three points but these qualifying campaigns are difficult for everyone.
“We have one more point and we’ll need to go looking for more in the remaining matches.”