Three years ago, France and Killian Mbabane were at the top of the world. The night France won the World Cup. Nineteen-year-old Mbabane impressed with his speed and finishing skills.
Years have passed. The same Mbabane became the tragic hero of France. Those legs pulled back with speed. Embappe wasted the decisive kick in the shootout and became the tearful figure of the Euro. The loss to Switzerland in the pre-quarterfinals was also the downfall of Mbabane when France were eliminated. As the French newspaper L’Aquipe wrote, it was a “big fall” for the French team. There is a bright future ahead. But the defeat to the Swiss and their own performance will remain elusive.
It was a nightmare for Bucharest Mbabane. Those legs were weak when he took the decisive fifth kick in the shootout. Swiss goalkeeper Jan Sommer knocked it down. Mbabane had his own moments during the game and in overtime. Nothing reached the goal.
No goals scored in four Euros. No shots on goal in 14 shots. He scored 41 goals in PSG last season. One of the main reasons why France could not move forward despite being full of talent was because Mbabane was tired. France have lost just one of their last 17 matches, including the World Cup and Euros. Coach Didier Deschamps’ decisions against Switzerland also failed. Swiss captain Granit Shaka’s response was that the French thought they had won the game in the 80th minute. Desham’s moves were like that.
Desham considered the decision to pull out the hard-working Ontoine Griezmann to take a 3–1 lead. When Seferovic and Gavranovic arrived with the Swiss in the remaining moments, there was no antidote for Desham. Karim Benzema, who scored with a double, was seen playing overtime. Paul Pogba, who scored the first goal and ruled the midfield, did not find a suitable partner. Mbabane and his team-mates bounced back as the Swiss jumped 5–4 in the shootout.
Do not bow your head, continue the journey; Like Mbabane
Pele with the support of French striker Killian Mbabane, who wasted a kick in the shootout against Switzerland. It was through social media that the Brazilian football legend came up with words that inspired Mbabane. ‘Tomorrow is the first day of the new journey. “Keep your head up, Killian.”
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