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Kylian Mbappé stays on bench following broken nose as France draws with Netherlands at Euro 2024

2024-06-26

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(CNN) — Kylian Mbappé was an unused substitute in France’s goalless draw against the Netherlands on Friday, after the striker broke his nose in his nation’s opening game of Euro 2024.

There had been fears the France captain would miss the Group D clash, but manager Didier Deschamps told reporters Thursday that his star man would be available.

However, the decision was made to rest Mbappé, who watched on as his teammates failed to find a breakthrough against the Oranje.

In truth, Les Bleus almost lost the match. Xavi Simons thought he had scored the winner for the Netherlands in the second half, but the goal was controversially ruled out for an offside.

Simons himself was clearly onside but teammate Denzel Dumfries was in an offside position and was adjudged by the video assistant referee (VAR) to have hindered France goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

Without its star striker, France struggled to finish off its chances and continued to be wasteful in front of goal throughout the match – Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann were guilty of missing two notable opportunities.

However, the draw is likely enough to secure France’s progression into the knockout stages. Les Bleus will have the chance to win the group when they play Poland on Tuesday.

The final group stage game will be another opportunity for Mbappé to make his return; the 25-year-old had trained earlier this week, donning a French-inspired tricolore mask.

However, Mbappé is not allowed to wear the multicolored mask during a Euro 2024 match as UEFA’s rules stipulate that “medical equipment worn on the field of play must be a single colour and free of team and manufacturer identification.”