Gameiro perfect foil for Griezmann
Les Bleus benefit from chemistry between Atletico mates Gameiro and Griezmann
(Kevin Gameiro 23, 59, Dimitri Payet 26, Antoine Griezmann 38)
(Mihail Aleksandrov 6-pen)
Kevin Gameiro could have been forgiven for feeling his love for France was unrequited.
He had confessed to the heartache of becoming a forgotten man following his move from Ligue 1 to the Spanish La Liga.
In truth, the wilderness period preluded that defection, with his last appearance coming in a friendly back in November 2011.
Even with 29 goals in all competitions en route to Europa League glory with Sevilla last term, Gameiro could not catch a break in Les Bleus' preparations for Euro 2016 this summer.
Didier Deschamps had condemned him to an unwanted band of brothers.
Alongside Karim Benzema and Alexandre Lacazette, Gameiro was unceremoniously excluded from the guest list as the continent's biggest party took place in his own domicile.
But, three years after leaving Paris, he is once again the talk of his country's capital.
Time has shown France the error of their ways.
Gameiro has enjoyed an international renaissance and it is another La Liga defection which his compatriots have to thank.
A summer move to Atletico Madrid has galvanised both the 29-year-old and Antoine Griezmann.
His new partner in crime at the Vicente Calderon showed yesterday morning (Singapore time) the benefits of having a competent foil in attack.
The previous accomplice, Olivier Giroud, proved conspicuous by his absence when they attempted to strike an understanding at the Stade de France, just 89 days earlier.
Gameiro will have no such problems. As a two-pronged tour de force for both club and country, he and Griezmann are already demonstrating their capabilities during the formative weeks of the new season.
It is a partnership which requires little more than instinct; the pair know where the other is going to be at the opportune moments.
It was a fact typified by Griezmann's effortless lay-off to assist his compatriot for a second of the evening against Bulgaria.
Euro 2016's Golden Boot winner also found himself in on the act with a sixth goal in his last seven France outings, and will doubtless contest that he should be level-pegging with Gameiro despite failing to meet Dimitri Payet's floating cross en route into the net.
Subsequent attempts to rally to Paul Pogba's defence, though admirable, will have fallen on deaf ears.
Another ineffectual outing has seen the pressure cranked on the Manchester United midfielder, barely two months since his record-breaking return.
Griezmann believes that a lack of affection and a change of scenery are at the heart of the current malaise consuming the world's most expensive footballer.
Deschamps was far less diplomatic, insisting he "can and must" deliver better performances.
They were complementary and effective. i’m happy for them and for the team. the fact that they play together at club
level means it is automatic.
— France coach Didier Deschamps (above), on his strike pairing of Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann
Days earlier, the France coach had attempted to leap to the player's defence, claiming that his eight-figure price tag had provided a platform for unrealistic expectations of him.
But Pogba can have few complaints about the circumstances in which he and agent Mino Raiola's desperately plotted that money-spinning move back to Old Trafford.
Everything the 23-year-old and his representative had done was designed to posture and preen his way back to United.
Somewhere along the way, Pogba appears to have forgotten the player he became before inflation and hysteria dominated his every move.
Being the highest-valued player in the game is not the reason for the current waves of condemnation, not least in his homeland - it is because he is capable of far more than is currently being shown.
That realisation has yet to dawn upon Pogba himself.
We will go to holland with the same goal — to look for a win.
— Deschamps, on Les Bleus’ next match