A shock without a cleaver.
Already qualified for the quarter-finals even before this last day, France and Spain fought a curious duel this Sunday.
Sometimes intense, often dilettante, the reigning Olympic champion team still managed to win for the sixth time in six matches at this World Cup.
Which obviously earned him the lead in Group 1 of the main round.
Without knowing the identity of his future opponent on Wednesday, since it will be played this Monday between Germany and Norway, the Blues facing the loser.
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The first ten minutes were particularly symptomatic of this lack of stake.
Between the Spaniards carrying out multiple experiments, leaving most of the traditional starters on the bench (or in the stands) and the French stubbornly coming up against the Iberian goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales, the level of play turned out to be mediocre to say the least. seen from the proposed poster (4-4, 10th).
The Blues, however, had the merit of being the first to emerge from their torpor by signing a 3-0 (9-6, 19th) which forced the opposing coach to take a first timeout.
Ribera wanted to try things tactically, but to see his flock scoring only six goals in 20 minutes could not suit him decently.
The Blues overthrow Spain
The Iberian reaction was quick and also took the form of a 3-0 (9-9).
And if France continued their race in the lead, under the impetus of a Nedim Remili in verve, Spain was not left out with Daniel Fernandez and his 4 out of 4 in the first period.
As a result, at the break, everything remained to be done on both sides with this logical parity score (13-13).
Unfortunately, if the return from the locker room aired the minds of the Spaniards, it did not offer any click to the French who multiplied the losses of the ball and the approximate actions, which the Iberian players exploited to widen the gap (20- 17, 41e).
But the Blues had pride, and an exceptional goal from Valentin Porte awakened sleeping troops.
In the process, Ludovic Fabregas equalized (22-22,
Elohim Prandi injured?
Elohim Prandi sent two missiles to give his team the advantage, before Fabregas, again, gave France two lengths (26-24, 53rd).
Then three through Nicolas Tournat (27-24).
And as Vincent Gérard found his level seen against Montenegro, the door closed in the face of the Spaniards in a rather brutal way (28-26).
Although the last minute offered bad news with Prandi's left ankle twisting, raising fears of injury.