Spain vs. France: Heroes And Goats From Epic World Cup Qualifier

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Spain vs. France: Heroes And Goats From Epic World Cup Qualifier
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Spain had its 24-match win streak in World Cup Qualifying competition by a persistent French team. France battled and took advantage of some extra time to score a match-tying goal that earned the team a point in the World Cup standings.

Both sides are now tied atop the Group I standings with seven points.

Even though the match ended in a draw, this has to give the world confidence when facing the Spanish juggernaut. In addition to their streak in World Cup qualifiers, they are coming off a victorious run in Euro 2012, and they are favorites to take the World Cup in 2014 in Brazil.

This at least proves teams can compete with them. 

Who is to blame or celebrate in this win? Here are the heroes and goats for this epic match.

 

Heroes

Olivier Giroud

Julian Finney/Getty Images

This is an obvious choice. It was his header that knotted the score at 1. He took the nicely placed pass from Franck Ribery, and deposited the ball in the net beyond Iker Casillas.

Giroud had been a non-factor up to this point, but his goal may have changed the outlook on the World Cup.

 

Karim Benzema

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Even though he missed a point blank opportunity to tie the match, his constant pressure must be recognized. He created opportunities for others with his aggressiveness, and he played at his traditionally torrid pace.

 

Goats

Francisco Juanfran

There is only one goat in this match. Casillas did allow the match-tying goal, but it was Francisco Juanfran's turnover that sprung Ribery and thus led to Giroud's goal. France is a quality side, so Spain—nor any other side—can hope to pull away from them.

In these types of crucial matches, the little things can be the difference. Thus, Juanfran's error cost his team valuable points in the standings.

 

Follow Brian Mazique and Franchiseplay on YouTube and Twitter for reactions, analysis and news from the world of sports and sports video games

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