Socceroo foe France on fire in friendly
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.”