Gomis sets Domenech selection poser
France 2-0 Ecuador
Bafétimbi Gomis pressed his claims for a place in France's final UEFA EURO 2008™ squad by scoring twice on his debut.
With coach Raymond Domenech set to reveal on Wednesday which players from his provisional 30-man squad will miss out on a place at next month's tournament, AS Saint-Etienne striker Gomis enhanced his chances of staying in the final squad with two second-half strikes. "I wish him [Gomis] a long career in French team," said Domenech after the match. "He has the skills."
Gomis was a half-time replacement for Djibril Cissé in a much-changed lineup as Domenech rested several players after their weekend domestic commitments. Hatem Ben Arfa aside, who did not feature in the Coupe de France final, there were no Olympique Lyonnais players on the pitch at kick-off. Thierry Henry, usual captain Patrick Vieira and UEFA Champions League winner Patrice Evra were also on the sidelines.
In a half of few clear opportunities, France had Lilian Thuram to thank for keeping the score goalless. Oscar Tenorio rounded goalkeeper Sébastien Frey but his shot was denied by the left foot of the FC Barcelona defender, with France's most-capped player then heading the striker's follow-up attempt over the crossbar.
Having fashioned nothing in the preceding 53 minutes, Gomis showed his potency by sending a shot into the top corner of Marcelo Elizaga's net eight minutes after his introduction. The 22-year-old, scorer of 16 Ligue 1 goals this season, then claimed his second five minutes from time when he volleyed in a cross from Nicolas Anelka to become only the second France player since Zinédine Zidane in 1994 to score twice on their Les Bleus bow.
"We proved steady in defence, a mature team who managed to wait until the right moment to score. It's the French team I like," said Domenech.
France: Frey (Mandanda 46), Sagnol (Clerc 74), Thuram, Escudé (Evra 46), Abidal, A. Diarra (Flamini 46), L. Diarra, Nasri, Ben Arfa (Malouda 78), Cissé (Gomis 46), Anelka.
Ecuador: Elizaga, De Jesus, Hurtado, Castro, Mina, Castillo, Ayovi, Valencia, Cortez, Quiroz (Borja 64), Tenorio.