France U-21s burned after defender's obnoxious celebration

Layvin Kurzawa not only has an enviable name, but the AS Monaco left back has an envy-inducing future. He’s young (22), inevitably rich, and can look forward to a career of major international tournaments. He’s doing soccer really well.

In the present, however, Kurzawa has acquired a note of infamy, one born from what started as a celebratory moment. Yesterday, while playing for the French U-21s, Kurzawa headed home the late goal that should have put his team into next year’s UEFA U-21 championships. Tied on aggregate, 3-3, with Sweden, Kurzawa allowed France to snare a vital (and, potentially tie-breaking) away goal. Les Bleuets were just over four minutes away from defending their leg one edge.

Then, as if daring to be smote, Kurzawa let immaturity get the best of him, celebrating what would have been a playoff-winning goal with a series of ironic salutes for his opponents.

Predictably, Sweden scored within a minute:

Oscar Lewicki’s goal means Sweden joins Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and hosts Czech Republic in January’s finals, but as you can see in the reaction from the bench, January was a long way off on Tuesday. As the team on the field piles on to its new hero, Swedes on the bench bring theirs hand to their brows, eager to remind anybody what Kurzawa had done.

It’s unfortunate that for every hero we seem to need a villain, but Kurwaza volunteered. With each new opponent he sought out to hand an ill-advised salute, his destiny as Tuesday’s goat became undeniable.

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