A hat-trick and an assist for Téji Savanier: André-Pierre Gignac allowed the French team to snatch a 4-3 victory against South Africa yesterday in Saitama and keep hope of seeing the quarters. After the slap he received against Mexico in the opening (1-4), Sylvain Ripoll’s Blues had to win. They did it with pain, after the extension of a meeting in which they were very often pushed.
First goal denied
While Paul Bernardoni had prevented the South Africans, for a long time the most dangerous, from achieving their dominance, captain André-Pierre Gignac sounded the awakening of the Blues but his goal, after a deep service from Thauvin, was rejected for offside ( 29). .
More mobile and impactful than the French, the South Africans ended up receiving a penalty shortly before the break after Lucas Tousart’s foul on Kodisang, but the center saved Bernardoni with a shot from Singh (41).
Just back from the locker room, South African dominance finally resulted in a Kodisang goal (53) that took advantage of a defensive error by ex-Toulousain Clément Michelin and his misunderstanding with Bernardoni.
But “Dedé” responded as a result of a blow between the goalkeeper’s legs after a serve from Randal Kolo Muani (57).
The South Africans regained the advantage by Evidence Makgopa (73) before a new equalization of Gignac, from the head (79). In this “crazy match, with an exceptional setting”, as Sylvain Ripoll called it, Teboho Mokoena replaced his team with a superb blow from the skylight injury (81).
It was without counting on Gignac that he put the two teams tied on a convincing penalty (86) to allow themselves a hat-trick and their fourth goal in these Games.
The French captain then became a decisive passer for Téji Savanier. After recovering the ball in the area, Montpéllierain pretended and scored with a low shot (90 + 2, 4-3).
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