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Kylian Mbappé scores but encounters issues wearing protective mask on return for France at Euro 2024

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — France coach Didier Deschamps highlighted the problems Kylian Mbappé faced wearing a mask to protect his broken nose in the 1-1 draw with Poland at the European Championship on Tuesday.

Mbappé scored a second-half penalty to mark his return to France’s starting lineup, eight days after sustaining the bloody injury late in the 1-0 win over Austria on June 17.

Deschamps said ahead of the game that Mbappé's peripheral vision would be limited because of the mask but there were other issues on a hot day in Dortmund, too.

“Despite everything he has gone through, a week after the blow, it was complicated,” Deschamps said through a translator. "I thought he was quite good on his feet with the mask. He needed to get used to it.

“But when he sweats, that sticks in his eyes and he needed to wipe his eyes.”

Still, Deschamps was happy with Mbappé's performance, having left the Real Madrid-bound striker on for the full game — first as a central striker and then on the left wing.

“He’s hungry to play and the game would have done him some good," Deschamps said, "especially given what we’re going to be doing (next)."

France potentially faces tougher tests at Euro 2024, with host Germany, Portugal and Spain — arguably the most impressive team at the tournament so far — in France's half of the draw in the knockout stage.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

Steve Douglas, The Associated Press