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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Boris Paichadze (ATT 25,000) 6th September 2013 - Kick off 19:15 Ref: F Aydinus

Georgia Georgia vs France France

Georgia 0

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France 0

Underpar French fire fifth blank against Georgia

Last Updated: 06/09/13 10:28pm

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Didier deschamps France side fail to score for fifth game

Didier deschamps France side fail to score for fifth game

France's scoreless run was extended to five games as Georgia dented their hopes of beating Spain to top spot in World Cup qualifying Group I.

Didier Deschamps' side were well below their best in the first half and were almost punished when Tornike Okriashvili hit the woodwork early in the second.

They stepped up a gear after that but could not find a way past home goalkeeper Giorgi Loria, who crowned a good display with two stunning saves in stoppage time to earn his side a point.

France went into the game having failed to score in their last qualifier, a 1-0 loss to Spain, as well as friendly defeats to Brazil and Uruguay and a goalless draw with Belgium.

Goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris had warned his colleagues at the other end of the field that "that will have to change if we want to win games", but another stalemate ensued in Tbilisi.

Deschamps opted to partner Arsenal's in-form hitman Olivier Giroud with Karim Benzema, but neither they nor substitute Andre-Pierre Gignac were able to find a breakthrough.

Neither team had a sight of goal in the opening 10 minutes and when France did create a chance, Franck Ribery shot wide.

Georgia's Jaba Kankava took it upon himself to break the shackles, but his 30-yard volley flew wide.

Okriashvili forced Lloris into the first save of the night after Laurent Koscielny only half-cleared Alexander Kobakhidze's free-kick, and Benzema was then off target from a similar situation at the other end.

Loria parried another effort from the Real Madrid man and Mathieu Valbuena shot over as France were held at bay until half-time.

And things so nearly got worse for Les Bleus just four minutes into the second period when Okriashvili drew a sharp save from Lloris and fired a follow-up effort against a post.

Lloris then fielded Nikoloz Gelashvili's cross-shot, while Benzema failed to end an international drought stretching back to last June's brace against Estonia when he headed Bacary Sagna's cross over the bar.

It was his last contribution before being replaced by recalled Marseille striker Gignac, who soon also failed to steer a Sagna cross on target.

Giroud's header was saved and both he and full-back Patrice Evra missed the target from distance as France took control but failed to make it count.

Loria parried Ribery's shot and then saved from Valbuena, and Koscielny headed wide.

The pressure continued to mount on Georgia's goal and Loria was booked for time-wasting before producing the decisive contribution at the last for Temuri Ketsbaia's underdogs.

First Giroud's header was tipped around the post and, from the resulting corner, Loria produced more heroics to deny Sagna and ensure France were shut out again.

The result, coupled with Spain's win in Finland, leaves France three points off the pace and urgently needing a win in Belarus on Tuesday to keep up the pressure on the reigning world and European champions.

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  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

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    Fri 6th Sep - Group I

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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