WCQ Group I round-up
Diaby on target as Les Bleus settle for 1-0 win
Last Updated: September 7, 2012 10:32pm
Abou Diaby: Scored the only goal as France edged past Finland
France were unconvincing in their win over Finland as Georgia began their World Cup qualifying attempt with a victory against Belarus.
Abou Diaby scored the only goal as France edged past Finland in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier.
The Arsenal midfielder made the breakthrough in the 20th minute with chances and shots on target few and far between.
With France Football Federation president Noel Le Graet revealing in the build-up to the game that French players are set to receive no bonus payments whatsoever if they fail to qualify for the next World Cup, Didier Deschamps' side might have been expected to put on more of a show in the first fixture at Helsinki's Olympiastadion.
However, the game was largely lifeless affair, with neither side able to stamp their authority on the match and the travelling France side seemingly comfortable to hold on to a single-goal lead.
Georgia got their campaign off to a winning start as a fine second-half goal from Tornike Okriashvili saw off the challenge of Belarus in a 1-0 victory.
Okriashvili's clinical finish from inside the area six minutes after half-time sealed the points for Georgia.
In a difficult five-team group which also includes reigning world and European champions Spain, both Georgia and Belarus would have viewed this as a chance to get some early points.