France’s Mbappe plays down injury scare

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Lyon, June 10 (IANS) France forward Kylian Mbappe made light of the “knock” he picked up in the team’s 1-1 draw with the United States in their final World Cup warm-up.

“Ice packs? No, it is just a knock,” Mbappe was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.

“I hit the ball poorly and I fell — it is nothing serious. It will be treated, and it will go away,” he added.

“This draw on Saturday will serve us well — it is encouraging. We wanted to win, of course, but we saw what we were missing from a match similar to a group stage encounter. It will help us moving forward. We have a week to work,” the Paris Saint Germain attacker added.

Mbappe, who scored the equaliser after being teed up by Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard said: “My goal? It was decent. I think that I have moved up through the gears during these friendlies — I have more and more pace. I was decisive and did what was asked of me.”

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The Americans took an unexpected lead a minute before half-time during Saturday night’s match here when Julian Green beat France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from an unlikely angle by USA’s Julian Green.

France coach Didier Deschamps however, was ready to forgive his team’s captain for his error.

“Everybody will have their own opinion on Hugo’s season,” Deschamps told TF1 after the final whistle at the Groupama Stadium.

“Yes, he has made three errors that have cost Tottenham goals. However, he played 60 matches with them and also helped them to win points, which he has also done for France,” he added.

“Obviously, he knows that he can do better on the goal that was scored tonight — even if Djibril was also at fault. I am not here to question anybody. It has been a long and painful season, he will gain momentum.”

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–IANS

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