(Bordeaux) Canada which holds none other than France in check, for a 0-0 draw, at home in Bordeaux. Who would have bet on that?

However, this is the feat that Jesse Marsch’s men accomplished this Sunday evening at the Matmut Atlantique stadium. And we weigh our words. Despite the friendly nature of the affair, it is indeed an achievement.

France, world champion in 2018, finalist in 2022, with its Antoine Griezmann, its Olivier Giroud, its Ousmane Dembélé, its all-out offensive threats. Canada, beaten 4-0 by the Netherlands three days ago, with only a few days of training under the new instructions of its coach.

Certainly, Kylian Mbappé did not start the match, suffering from knee and back discomfort. He came on with 15 minutes to go. To a warm ovation from the crowd.

We want to say that Canada had already done the essential thing at this time, that is to say, built up confidence before the Copa América, and above all demonstrated that it can stand up to the best nations in the world, when on a good day.

France wanted to take the bull by the horns at the start of the engagement. They quickly became threatening, especially in the 8th minute on a shot from N’Golo Kanté on the right. But the Blues came up against the story of this very beginning of the match: Maxime Crépeau. The Quebec goalkeeper, starting this time replacing Dayne St. Clair, stood up like a wall in front of the French attacks in the first half. His presence in front of the Canadian goal was the only change for Jesse Marsch after the Netherlands. That, and the captain’s armband given to Stephen Eustáquio.

For the rest of this first period, we want to say that Canada looked the best. In the construction of the game, in the high pressure on the field. Well, it’s still terribly weak when the Reds reach the attacking third. But to deploy your game like this in front of an opponent ranked second in the world by FIFA – Canada is 49th – is not bad, all the same.

The second half was quiet for both sides. Even the introduction of Mbappé did not change anything for the French, apart from perhaps a late penalty call. It was as if both teams, as the minutes ticked away, were increasingly satisfied with the draw.

That said, Jonathan David had two great chances to open the scoring for the Canadians. But in the 65th minute, instead of passing to Eustáquio on his left already in the box, he took a blocked shot in defense. Then, in the 79th minute, instead of shooting, he attempted a pass which killed the action. Two sequences which demonstrate a blatant lack of synchronism in the attack for the maple leaf.

We cannot ignore the excellent performance of Ismaël Koné in midfield for 88 minutes. With Crépeau, solid on his two saves in the first half, and even ahead of Mbappé at the very end of the match, Koné was the Red who shone best against the Blues. He was nearly perfect in his passing, completing 40 of his 43 attempts.

The two teams thus complete their respective preparations before the Copa and the Euro. With a result which offers very different conclusions for each of them.

More details will follow.