World Cup winner France started its European Championship qualifying campaign with a 4-1 victory over Moldova on Friday.

Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Olivier Giroud scored inside 13 first-half minutes and Kylian Mbappe added the fourth goal late in the second half of the Group H encounter.

Vladimir Ambros netted a consolation with Moldova’s first shot on target in the 89th minute.

France's Benjamin Pavard left, fights for the ball with Moldova's Radu Ginsari right, during the Euro 2020 group H qualifying soccer match between Moldova and France at Zimbru stadium in Chisinau, Moldova, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/ Roveliu Buga)
France’s Benjamin Pavard left, fights for the ball with Moldova’s Radu Ginsari right, during the Euro 2020 group H qualifying soccer match between Moldova and France at Zimbru stadium in Chisinau, Moldova, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/ Roveliu Buga)

The only surprise was that it took France 23 minutes to make the breakthrough.

It was a goal of sublime quality as Griezmann’s short pass to Paul Pogba was, in turn, floated over the defense for the Atletico Madrid striker to run on to and connect with a left-foot volley from seven yards (meters) for his 27th goal in 68 internationals.

Griezmann was the supplier three minutes later with a corner that Varane met at the near post with a flicked header. It was again all too easy for the third as Pogba combined inside the area with Blaise Matuidi, who dinked in a cross which Giroud touched home with his left foot for his 34th international goal.

France's Kylian Mbappe left, fights for the ball with Moldova's Eugeniu Cociuc right, during the Euro 2020 group H qualifying soccer match between Moldova and France at Zimbru stadium in Chisinau, Moldova, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/ Roveliu Buga)
France’s Kylian Mbappe left, fights for the ball with Moldova’s Eugeniu Cociuc right, during the Euro 2020 group H qualifying soccer match between Moldova and France at Zimbru stadium in Chisinau, Moldova, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/ Roveliu Buga)

It took until the 87th minute for Mbappe to break Moldova’s second-half resistance, slotting home from 12 yards.

___

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.