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France under pressure beats Tunisia

Latest update : 2008-10-15

A day before the French Federation decides whether to keep Domenech as head coach of the French national team, a spectacular game at the Stade de France saw Tunisia lose to France, 3-1 despite scoring first in the 30th minute.

Two goals by Thierry Henry helped France sink Tunisia 3-1 in a friendly on Tuesday, a day before the French federation rules on coach Raymond Domenech's fate.

Tunisia forward Issam Jemaa twisted his way past defender Jean-Alain Boumsong to put the visitors ahead with a low angled shot 30 minutes into an entertaining game.

France levelled 10 minutes later with a superb goal from Henry, who fired into the top corner from just outside the box after a one-two with playmaker Yoann Gourcuff.
France's record goalscorer Henry, wearing the captain's armband in the absence of the injured Patrick Vieira, was on target again three minutes into the second half, tapping home from close range for his 48th goal in 107 internationals.

Fellow striker Karim Benzema wrapped up the victory with a strike from the edge of the area after 58 minutes following fine work by fullback Rod Fanni, who celebrated his first cap with a stylish performance.

Domenech, under pressure since France's group-stage exit from Euro 2008, will find out after a meeting on Wednesday whether he remains in charge.

The abrasive 56-year-old has been expected to stay on since France fought back from two goals down for a 2-2 draw in Romania in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday.



STRANGE ATMOSPHERE

A convincing performance against Tunisia confirmed the impression although France, and notably Boumsong, again showed signs of nerves at the back.

The match was played in a strange, almost surreal atmosphere on a mild, still autumn evening on the outskirts of Paris.

The crowd was clearly in favour of the visitors with fans from France's large Tunisian population packing the Stade de France.

The French anthem was booed, as was Domenech's name when it was announced by the speaker before the game, and the France players were jeered every time they had the ball.

That did not stop them shining, although the first clear chance fell to Tunisia whose forward Fahid Ben Khalfallah struck an angled drive that flew over the bar after 16 minutes.

France, however, dominated the midfield and threatened in the 29th minute when winger Franck Ribery just missed the top corner from the edge of the box.

Tunisia went ahead seconds later but France soon equalised and controlled what was to be a lively game after that.

Date created : 2008-10-14

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