The second match of the World Cup saw thousands turn out in Paris, hoping to recreate the atmosphere of 1998 when France became World Champions on home soil.
But the early excitement of the match against Uruguay soon turned into familiar frustration as the team failed to convert their chances.
For the third major tournament in a row, France’s opening game ended 0-0.
Some young fans looked on the bright side.
“It was such a good finish, they took control again,” said Thierry, reflecting on what might have been. “There were some good moves from players like Diaby, so we’re still happy.”
“It’s a pity they didn’t score, the atmosphere would have been better,” said his friend Jean-Marc.
Expectations in Montevideo were scarcely higher; like France, Uruguay had also struggled to qualify.
With business at a standstill, football took over in local bars and restaurants. The result was greeted with relief.
“France was the hardest team that we have to face in the group,” said Natalia Izquierdo, her face painted in the blue and yellow colours of her country’s flag. “So if we can draw with France I have faith; more faith than I had before. It was a good game, we finished ok. Impeccable Uruguay.”
Group A remains wide open. But both France and Uruguay will have to do a lot better to turn disappointment or relief back home into scenes of celebration.