Mahe – finally
January 16, 2019
If Christian Prokop was satisfied with Germany’s draw against France, “Les Experts” were in complete agreement. Even though Didier Dinart’s men were trailing most of the time, they showed up when it counted most.
In goal, Vincent Gérard may not have delivered his best performance ever, but he had a crucial save against Fabian Böhm.
By the same token, Timothey N’Guessan didn’t do much for most of the sixty minutes, but his last score compensated for any shortcomings perceived or otherwise.
For him and many of his teammates, this match against Germany could become a defining moment, one that may serve as a reference point in the not too distant future. Mentally you had to be very strong to resist the pressure of the 14.000 spectators at Mercedes-Benz Arena, especially without a captain, Cédric Sorhaindo, as he was sidelined ten minutes into the game.
But, they did resist. Sure, the ship was unstable towards the end of the first half, when Germany led by three. But, it didn’t roll over, thanks to Kentin Mahé. If some – myself included – were suspicious of the Veszprem player, if he would ever pull off a brilliant performance in the national team, he provided his best answer, yesterday. Nine goals and going head-to-head with Germany’s Oliver Roggisch cannot be a bad thing, when you’re holding it with the French.
The draw doesn’t guarantee that France will go deep into the tournament. Young teams tend to deliver awesome performances now and then, before another lackluster game. For sure, a number of things can be better. For instance, Didier Dinart’s decision to switch goalkeepers three times during the match was not understood by anyone. Did you get the decision? None of us did.
Among the French there were some more discussions why Mahé stayed on the bench in the last two minutes as he was replaced by Dika Mem? At the time, it didn’t make much sense, getting rid of your best player. But, in the end it all worked.
It’s a perfect example of how France functions these days – fighting through pain, relying on a mixture of luck and talent. So far, so good; there is no reason why it shouldn’t continue this way.