Football

France's Kingsley Coman thrives in Kylian Mbappe’s absence

Kingsley "King" Coman lived up to his nickname when he made the most of Kylian Mbappe's absence to lead France to a 4-1 win over Albania in a Group H Euro 2020 qualifier yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Bayern Munich attacker was handed a rare start by coach Didier Deschamps and he made the most of his lightning pace, terrorising the Albanian defence throughout.

Coman opened the scoring with a burst into the area on eight minutes and made sure there would be no comeback for the visitors by netting the hosts' third in the 68th.

It appears the 23-year-old's poor 2018 is behind him after Deschamps omitted him from the World Cup squad following an injury-marred season.

Coman made his return with Les Bleus in June for a friendly against Bolivia and a qualifier in Turkey, his first taste of international football since November 2017.

"It's one of my best games with the national team, and from a statistical point of view, it's even the best," said Coman after helping France stay top of Group H with 12 points from five games, ahead of Turkey and Iceland on goal difference.

"I've had a great night but I won't have much time to enjoy it... we must look ahead."

France play Andorra on Wednesday morning and Coman should get another chance to improve his scoring record of three goals in 18 games for his country.

"He's been with us for a while. He was there before Euro 2016. His performance is in line with what he's been doing with Bayern for over a year," said Deschamps, who handed Coman his first cap in 2015.

"He is more decisive and has this capacity to unsettle his opponents. We have to make sure he does not get injured.

"When he's like this, nothing can stop him." - REUTERS

Football