France to play Ivory Coast and South Africa in two friendlies in March

France to play Ivory Coast and South Africa in two friendlies in March

World champions France will play Ivory Coast and South Africa in two friendlies in March, the French football federation has confirmed.

France will host the Ivorians on Friday, 25 March in Marseille and Bafana Bafana four days later (Tuesday, 29 March) in Lille, their first games against African opponents since a 0-0 draw with Ivory Coast in November 2016.

Ivory Coast lost on penalties to Egypt in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), while South Africa failed to qualify.

Both countries have also been eliminated from 2022 Soccer World Cup qualifying.

It will be the first time France have faced South Africa since a 2-1 defeat at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein during the 2010 World Cup in Mzansi.

South Africa scored goals that memorable night through Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela while France replied with a late consolation goal by Florent Malouda.

After a miserable and controversial campaign, France crashed out in the group stage after finishing bottom of Group A with a draw and two defeats.

France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow.

Les Bleus are ranked third in the latest FIFA world rankings with Ivory Coast in 56th place and South Africa 68th.

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