6/2/2018 12:45:01 AM

Dembele gem caps France win over Italy

Dembele gem caps France win over Italy

Nice, France: Ousmane Dembele scored a terrific goal in an impressive display for France as the World Cup contenders defeated Italy 3-1 in a friendly in Nice on Friday.

Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti grabbed the opening goal after eight minutes at the Allianz Riviera, converting a rebound from close range after Kylian Mbappe's volley was saved by Salvatore Sirigu.

N'Golo Kante fired against the post from distance as Sirigu produced a fine fingertip save, but Antoine Griezmann added a second from the penalty spot following a foul on Lucas Hernandez by Rolando Mandragora.

Italy cut the deficit before the break when Leonardo Bonucci alertly followed up after Hugo Lloris failed to deal with a powerful Mario Balotelli free-kick.

Balotelli forced Lloris to save low with his foot within seconds of the restart after half-time, while Dembele rattled the crossbar moments later having burst past a pair of Italy defenders.

But the Barcelona forward sealed victory on 63 minutes, curling a sublime first-time shot into the top corner after Mbappe's searing run was halted on the edge of the area.

"There are lots of things that pleased me beyond the three goals," France coach Didier Deschamps told French television station TF1.

"It could have been a bigger scoreline. If we had been more efficient we could have been at ease a bit earlier.

"We're not going to get carried away, there's still a second part of our preparation ahead of us."

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