Wednesday, 17th October, 2012
France grabbed a late 1-1 draw against Spain in their 2014 World Cup qualifier in Madrid last night, leaving goalscorer Olivier Giroud exclaiming that he has answered his critics.
Les Bleus fell behind after just 25 minutes, when Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos handed the hosts the lead.
France centre back Laurent Koscielny was judged guilty of having brought down Pedro Rodriquez inside the penalty area, causing the referee to point to the spot.
And up stepped Cesc Fabregas, only to see his effort saved by Hugo Lloris in the France goal.
In the second half, boosted by a talk from coach Didier Deschamps, Les Bleus looked more dangerous, albeit without finding the back of the net as the clock ticked down.
It looked as though Spain’s solitary goal would be enough – but then, deep into injury time, following a slip by Juanfran, Moussa Sissoko gave the ball to Franck Ribery, who sent in a beautiful cross for Giroud.
And the Arsenal striker angled a header home, silencing the crowd and grabbing France a share of the spoils with a 1-1 draw.
The Frenchman cut a delighted figure post match and was quick to suggest the side deserved their point.
"It’s a feeling of great satisfaction.
"The equaliser is a reward for the whole team, we got it together."
Giroud felt personally vindicated too, having had his goalscoring exploits questioned at club level with Arsenal and also heard international mutterings.
"Personally, this is also a great way for me to silence the criticism I have heard recently", said the former Montpellier man.