Addis Ababa, October 11, 2021(Walta) – Kylian Mbappe fired a contentious winner as France came from behind to beat Spain and become the second team to win the Nations League.
Mbappe was adjudged to be onside when he slid the ball under Unai Simon after Karim Benzema’s stunning equalizer at Milan’s San Siro.
Spain had taken the lead through Mikel Oyarzabal, who shrugged off defender Dayot Upamecano to beat Hugo Lloris.
Lloris produced two late saves to ensure victory for the world champions.
He first denied Oyarzabal before acrobatically keeping out Yeremi Pino’s effort in stoppage time, as France became the competition’s second winner after Portugal in 2019.
But Mbappe’s winner will prove to be a moment of debate, with the goal standing even though the Paris St-Germain striker was in an offside position when Theo Hernandez played the initial through ball.
Spain defender Eric Garcia touched the ball in his attempt to clear the danger before it came to Mbappe, and the rules state “a player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball… is not considered to have gained an advantage”.
France, who reached the final by coming from 2-0 down to beat neighbors Belgium 3-2 on Thursday, had to fight back again and did so in a game that came alive after an hour of technical but sedate action.