The battle for third place in the 2013 Toulon Tournament was a close match, but France managed to hold off Portugal—winning 2-1 to finish third overall.
France (U21) has been the most successful team in the tournament's history—with 11 titles, but there wasn't as much on the line this time around.
Stade du Ray hosted the third-place game, and France took full-advantage of playing on home soil in Nice.
Paul-Georges Ntep de Madiba was the first on the board for France 11 minutes in, after Benjamin Jeannot drew a penalty. Gael Vena Diambu added a goal in the 31st minute to make it a 2-0 score; giving France a lead that they would not relinquish.
Alberto Gomes Pina Aladje saved Portugal from being shutout with a goal in the 41st minute, but there wasn't much offense for his squad the rest of the way. At 2-1 heading into the break, Portugal was lucky that they were within striking distance.
France controlled the first half, as the score indicates, and they were looking to bounce back after Columbia knocked them out of the title picture earlier in the week.
An early goal gave France the momentum that they would use to build a two-goal lead midway through the first half. After the goal in the 11th minute, defender Vena was able to give the French team room to relax.
France controlled the first half, but Portugal fought back late in the first half.
It looked like a 2-0 score would hold up through the first half, but a late goal by Aladje changed the momentum of the game.
Despite the change in momentum, France played well enough in the second half to make things tough on Portugal. Although Portugal was able to get chances in the second half, they couldn't even the score.
It was a back-and-forth second half, with each team getting good opportunities. Both teams had a chance to grab the momentum and take control of the game but neither side could break the other team's defense.
Goals: Ntep (FRA), Vena (FRA), Aladje (POR)
The biggest point in the match was the penalty that set up the early goal. Ntep found the back of the net, and France never looked back.
Portugal needed to keep it scoreless or take an early lead to have any chance. They were unsuccessful and found themselves trying to claw back into the game.
With all of the momentum in the first half, France was able to add to its lead and make it tough for
Portugal to get any type of comeback going.
The momentum change late in the first half gave Portugal a slight chance, but France was the better team.They played well all game and didn't let Portugal break through their defense.
France was hoping to be playing in the title match, but a third-place finish is what the team had to settle for.