Soccer-Untroubled France beat Gibraltar to keep perfect pace in Euro qualifier


Soccer Football - UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifier - Group B - Gibraltar v France - Estadio Algarve - Faro, Portugal - June 16, 2023 France's Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura

ALMANCIL (Reuters) - France maintained their perfect run in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 as they beat Gibraltar 3-0 on Friday to top Group B.

Didier Deschamps' side earned their third straight win to top the group with nine points, three ahead of Greece whom they host on Monday. Bottom-placed Gibraltar will travel to Ireland, with both teams seeking to earn their first points.

France took the lead inside three minutes as the country's leading scorer Oliver Giroud headed home Kingsley Coman's cross for his 54th international goal.

The AC Milan striker also became France's third-most capped player equalling Thierry Henry with 123 appearances.

Captain Kylian Mbappe doubled the lead from the penalty spot just before halftime and his pass into the six-yard box in the 78th minute led to an own goal from Aymen Mouelhi to make it 3-0.

"We came here to win, to be as effective as possible, and we only scored three goals, but it could have been five or six," said coach Deschamps.

"We could have done a lot better, but we know we'll have a tougher game on Monday... we're going to have a packed stadium. We're going to do everything we can to finish the season on a high note on Monday."

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Christian Radnedge)

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