France draws 1-1 with Serbia in Euro 2016 friendly
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Dick Advocaat’s first match in charge of Serbia ended with a 1-1 draw against Euro 2016 host France in a friendly on Sunday.
France took the lead in the 13th minute through Paul Pogba but had to settle for a draw after Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov equalized in the 80th.
“Everything can be better, but for the first game ... I think it was OK,” Advocaat said. “I think despite the few chances France got, we played well organized.”
“We are still trying to find something in the team, but after all 1-1 is a fair result against the team like France,” he added.
France manager Didier Deschampes said his team “could have been better.”
“Our goal was to win. At the beginning we were winning, but in the end it was a draw,” he said.
Pogba put France ahead when poor defense allowed him to steer the ball home from a corner taken by Remy Cabella.
France, which beat Spain for the first time in eight years in its previous friendly, looked confident toward the end of the first half despite several promising attacks by Serbia.
A powerful shot by Cabella prompted a save from goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic after the restart, but Serbia’s tenacity was rewarded when Kolarov leveled from a free kick.
Advocaat took over Serbia in July to help get the country qualify for the Euro 2016, after it failed to reach Euro 2014. Serbia will play Armenia and Albania next month in the qualifiers.
Dutch-born Advocaat previously coached the national teams of the Netherlands, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium and Russia. He succeeded Sinisa Mihajlovic, who switched to Italian club Sampdoria after failing to qualify for last year’s World Cup.