Soc­ceroo foe France on fire in friendly

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport -

THE Soc­ceroos’ group op­po­nent France un­der­lined that it will be one of the favourites to win the World Cup with a strong 3-1 de­feat of Italy on Fri­day.

On a day of friendlies in­volv­ing World Cup teams, fi­nal­ists Egypt and Colom­bia drew 0-0 while Tu­nisia drew 2-2 with Turkey.

French de­fender Samuel Umtiti opened the scor­ing with a tap-in on eight min­utes and An­toine Griez­mann con­verted a penalty shortly be­fore the half-hour mark.

Italy cap­tain Leonardo Bonucci also tapped in to pull one back on 36 min­utes but Ous­mane Dem­bele se­cured vic­tory with a swerv­ing shot mid­way through the sec­ond half.

Italy, which failed to qual­ify for the World Cup and was play­ing its sec­ond game un­der new coach Roberto Mancini, could not re­spond against an im­pres­sive France side.

“At this mo­ment, un­for­tu­nately, France are su­pe­rior to us and have so many play­ers avail­able to them,” Mancini said.

“We must work and learn to get close to them, but we’re on the right track.”

France man­ager Di­dier Deschamps said: “We need to keep what this group has in terms of am­bi­tion and en­thu­si­asm. We do not do ev­ery­thing per­fectly, but for now it’s sat­is­fac­tory.”

France wel­comes the United States on June 9 for a friendly ahead of its Group C opener against Aus­tralia, which ear­lier in the day trounced the Czech Re­pub­lic 4-0.

Else­where, Eng­land’s World Cup op­po­nent Tu­nisia fought out a 2-2 draw with Turkey, which had Cenk To­sun shown a red card in Geneva. South Korea lost 3-1 to Bos­nia-Herze­gov­ina from Edin Visca’s hat-trick. axed. Mathew Leckie, who scored a brace against the Czech Re­pub­lic, start­ing winger Rob­bie Kruse, Tom Rogic and Jack­son Irvine’s Rus­sia tick­ets are booked.

Van Mar­wijk, who is plac­ing plenty of stock in the wide at­tack­ing roles and cov­ets pace, is toy­ing with the idea of trav­el­ling with an ex­tra at­tacker.

Rukavyt­sya and Troisi are among the quick­est play­ers in the squad, while Arzani and Pe­tratos pro­vide their own Xfac­tors.

Arzani, who’s shot into cal­cu­la­tions af­ter a stun­ning fin­ish to Mel­bourne City’s sea­son, has no idea about his World Cup fate.

“I’m not sure. I’ve done the hard work now, there’s noth­ing else I can do, it’s up to the coach­ing staff to de­cide,’’ Arzani said.

Asked about Arzani’s de­but, van Mar­wijk said: “No. I al­ready said too much … most of the play­ers are im­prov­ing.”

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