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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Stade de France (ATT 70,156) 15th October 2013 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: M Koukoulakis

France France vs Finland Finland

France 3

F Ribery (8)
J Toivio (og 77)
K Benzema (87)

ft

Finland 0

World Cup qualifiers: France beat Finland 3-0 but now face play-off clash

Last Updated: 15/10/13 11:29pm

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Franck Ribery (l): Opened the scoring

Franck Ribery (l): Opened the scoring

France will have to negotiate the play-offs if they are to reach the 2014 World Cup finals despite finishing their qualification campaign with a 3-0 win over Finland.

Franck Ribery opened the scoring in the eighth minute before a Joona Toivio own goal and Karim Benzema's late strike earned Les Bleus victory, the second consecutive match in which the Real Madrid striker has scored after a nightmare spell in front of goal.

However, Spain's win over Georgia guaranteed progression from Group I for the defending World Cup holders and forced France into the play-off lottery.

France started the final round of qualifiers three points behind Spain and needing both results to go their way as well as a swing in goal difference if they were to claim the automatic spot.

The hosts signalled their attacking intentions from the outset, Laurent Koscielny and Paul Pogba both having efforts before France went ahead in the eighth minute with a stunning strike from Ribery.

The Bayern Munich winger unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top right-hand corner of the goal from 25 yards giving Finland goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa no chance at all.

Perparim Hetemaj shot wide for the visitors but Olivier Giroud headed over and Mathieu Debuchy fired wide while Maenpaa did well to parry Mathieu Valbuena's header as France attacked.

However, Finland weathered the storm and almost equalised when Kasper Hamalainen's shot from the centre of the area was only saved by the feet of France keeper Hugo Lloris.

The visitors then forced a corner which was taken by Roman Eremenko and although Debuchy cleared, Alexander Ring pounced to fire a superb right-footed volley narrowly over the bar from 20 yards.

Valbuena curled a shot over the bar and shortly after was denied by Maenpaa after he had been found by Ribery.

France came within inches of doubling their lead in first-half injury time when Samir Nasri's 25-yard effort hit the post which proved to be the last meaningful action before the interval.

Debuchy's volley was parried by Maenpaa minutes after the re-start before the Newcastle defender's long-range effort was comfortably gathered by the goalkeeper.

Roman Eremenko's shot was easily saved by Lloris with both teams firing in from distance.

The game had fallen a little flat and with Spain getting a second goal over Georgia, there was little France could realistically do to affect their situation.

Giroud fired over from distance before Valbuena's corner found Koscielny at the far post only for the Arsenal defender to head over the bar.

However, France did get a deserved second goal 13 minutes from full-time when Giroud's header was turned into his own goal by Toivio, the defender sending the ball high into the centre of the goal.

Loic Remy then hit the post moments later with a header from 12 yards before Debuchy fired over from 30 yards.

Ribery, Yohan Cabaye and Debuchy all had shots before Benzema completed the scoring three minutes from time when he volleyed home Ribery's cross.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 15th Oct - Group E
    Tue 15th Oct - Group F
    Tue 15th Oct - Group G
    Tue 15th Oct - Group D
    Tue 15th Oct - Group B
    Tue 15th Oct - Group A
    Tue 15th Oct - Group C
    • Faroe Islands
      0 - 3
      Austria
      bet
      TV
    • Rep Ireland
      3 - 1
      Kazakhstan
      bet
      TV
    • Sweden
      3 - 5
      Germany
      bet
      TV
    Tue 15th Oct - Group H
    Tue 15th Oct - 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 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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