Belarus vs. France: Live Score, Highlights and Recap for World Cup Qualifier
Hi everyone, Jonathan Johnson here. I will be bringing you all the action from tonight's World Cup qualification Group I clash between Belarus and France in Gomel. Stay tuned for team news.
Thanks for tuning in!
That is all from me Jonathan Johnson, until next time goodbye.
Finishing on a positive note, France scored four goals for the first time since 1925 tonight. They had gone 527 minutes without scoring a goal prior to Franck Ribery's penalty though.
So to recap then, France fell behind in the first half to Egor Filipenko's opener after 32 minutes which Hugo Lloris made a mess of. Franck Ribery then equalised early in the second half with a penalty before the hosts re-took the lead through Timofey Kalachev's long-range effort that was once again misjudged by Lloris. Ribery brought France level again on 64 minutes before second-half substitute Samir Nasri put Didier Deschamps' side 3-2 up six minutes later. Paul Pogba added gloss to the scoreline with a fourth 17 minutes from time. However, it was a massively underwhelming first hour or so for Les Bleus who were in massive danger of turning next month's clash with Finland into a shoot-out for the Group I play-off place. Ribery the hero, but it was Patric Evra's half-time team talk that apparently inspired the side to victory according to the two-goal hero.
So that result means that France seal the play-off spot in Group I and can still technically win the group provided that Spain do not win their final two games. Finland travel to France next month with no hope of reaching the play-offs now.
Group I table:
Spain - 14 (played 6)
France - 14 (played 7)
Finland - 9
Georgia - 5
Belarus - 4
Franck Ribery says the half-time motivational team-talk made all the difference and that it came from ... Patrice Evra.— Jerome Pugmire (@jeromepugmire) September 10, 2013
Interesting that Franck Ribery credits today's turnaround with an emotional team talk from Patrice Evra of all people!
Didier Deschamps is a relieved man after that victory. 4-2 and France broke a goal drought of 527 minutes in the process.
Full-time: Belarus 2-4 France. Les Bleus secure the play-off spot in Group I with come from behind win in Gomel. Hosts twice took the lead, but goals from Franck Ribery x2, Samir Nasri and Paul Pogba secure three precious points.
Looks like France have confirmed the play-off spot from Group I. Deschamps with some big decisions ahead of the Finland clash next month.
Three minutes of time added on. France still 4-2 up.
Late Belarus corner cleared by France. Less than one minute of normal time remaining.
Man of the match a tough choice for France. Ribery has been heroic, Valbuena impressive and determined, Pogba has been consistent. Got to be Franck though. What a relief for Deschamps that he was able to feature tonight.
85 minutes in, France now bossing it. Far more composed and in control than at any other point tonight. 4-2 still.
Lloris better not get a lot of stick for this. 50 games, this his worst. Everyone has an off night. Result the most important thing.— FFW (@FrenchFtWeekly) September 10, 2013
Just a bad day at the office for Hugo Lloris?
Tigorev replaced by Bressan in Belarus' final change. 83 minutes gone.
In what was a very scrappy France performance, Paul Pogba maintained his level of consistency throughout. What a player he is going to be.— Jerome Pugmire (@jeromepugmire) September 10, 2013
Paul Pogba man of the match?
Franck Ribery now replaced by Moussa Sissoko. Both sides have made two changes. Into the 80th minute.
Belarus substitution. Their second change of the game. After Olekhnovich replacing Dragun, Rodionov is on for Verkhovtsov. 79 minutes in.
Into the 75th minute, 4-2 to france and the visitors now playing some neat passing football in the last few minutes. Massive turnaround this.
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