Kylian Mbappe was on target but Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty as France edged past Sweden 1-0 in Solna to get their Nations League campaign started with a win.
Paris Saint-Germain attacker Mbappe converted France’s only shot on target in the 41st minute of the Group A3 match, threading the ball through the narrowest of gaps between Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen and the near post.
The 21-year-old’s goal was a bitter blow for the hosts, who earned promotion from League B in 2018-19, given they had the better of the chances up until that point.
Sweden made a late push for an equaliser before Victor Lindelof was caught out by the pace of substitute Anthony Martial, but Griezmann blazed the resulting penalty over with the final kick of the game.
France lacked cohesion in their 3-4-3 formation and nearly fell behind in the 15th minute when Mikael Lustig’s venomous 30-yard effort flashed past the post.
Hugo Lloris produced a brilliant save to keep Marcus Berg at bay after a great pass from Albin Ekdal, while Raphael Varane – who was caught out by the Sampdoria midfielder’s ball over the top – ensured Emil Forsberg’s cross on the follow-up did not find a team-mate.
France took the lead three minutes later, with Mbappe making the most of a fortuitous bounce by tucking home from a tight angle.
Olivier Giroud nodded a cross from Lucas Digne narrowly wide in the 54th minute but Les Bleus struggled to continue to apply pressure.
Martial replaced Mbappe for his first France cap since March 2018 and, after Leo Dubois inadvertently hit the crossbar, Forsberg and Berg were unable to take chances to equalise.
Sweden’s attempts to restore parity left them short at the back and although Lindelof pushed Martial – his club team-mate at Manchester United – over in the box, Griezmann was unable to convert from the spot.