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France squeeze past Costa Rica in World Cup warm-up

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-05-26

France toiled to a narrow 2-1 win over Costa Rica in their first World Cup warm-up Wednesday, Marseille's Mathieu Valbuena celebrating his first cap with a late winner.

REUTERS - Mathieu Valbuena celebrated his first cap by giving a new-look France side a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in a World Cup warm-up on Wednesday.

Winger Valbuena benefitted from fine work by midfielder Abou Diaby to score the winner seven minutes from time for the former world and European champions, playing in a 4-3-3 formation instead of the usual 4-2-3-1 system.

Midfielder Carlos Hernandez surprised France keeper Steve Mandanda with a low angled shot from the edge of the box to put the visitors ahead on 11 minutes.

France, who played some neat football but looked shaky at the back at times, struck back 11 minutes later courtesy of an own goal by defender Douglas Sequeira and they dominated the second half.

Date created : 2010-05-26

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