Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Europe’s Blame Game: finger pointing continues as Calais migrant crisis worsens (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Europe’s Blame Game: finger pointing continues as Calais migrant crisis worsens (part 1)

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Gold prices: no longer a safe haven?

Read more

FOCUS

Secular bloggers live in fear after spate of killings

Read more

ENCORE!

The art of resistance, from Gaza to Lebanon via Timbuktu

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Close down Calais until the French get a grip'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Europe's new 'Iron Curtain'

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US gun laws criticised after fresh shootings

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Half of global internet users are on Facebook

Read more

Sports

France beat modest Luxembourg 2-0 in third straight win

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-12

Laurent Blanc's players beat Luxembourg 2-0 in a qualifying match for the 2012 European Championships, making it three wins in a row for the first time in as many years.

AFP - France consolidated their spot atop Group D of Euro 2012 qualifiers with a facile 2-0 victory over Luxembourg here on Tuesday.
  
Goals in either half from Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff, in a game that often took on the air of a training ground session, sealed a victory that now sees Les Bleus with nine points from their four games, with Belarus in second on eight after their 2-0 win over Albania.
  
"It's important to have more points than your rivals," said France coach Laurent Blanc.
  
Luxembourg's Metz-born goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert pulled off a cracking early save from a 25-metre Philippe Mexes shot, scrabbling the ball around the post.
  
But things turned bad for the visitors, ranked 130th in the world and habitual whipping boys in European qualifiers, from the subsequent corner in the 22nd minute as Gourcuff's cross found Benzema unmarked at the back post.
  
The Real Madrid striker controlled the ball with his right foot as it looped over the stunned defence and drilled it home with a perfect left-footed volley.
  
Joubert was again on hand to gather an Alou Diaby shot as his defence held firm against a French attack that swamped the visitors in midfield.
  
Gilles Bettemer had an opportunistic 35-metre strike as the sole first-half showing for a Luxembourg side seemingly limited solely to a defensive gameplan.
  
Joubert rushed out to snaffle the ball from the feet of Guillame Hoarau in the 48th minute after the Paris St Germain striker rushed through onto a Gourcuff through ball into the box.
  
Things got worse for Luxembourg when captain Rene Peters received his marching orders after getting a second yellow card for a horrible two-footed lunge on Gourcuff.
  
The Lyon midfielder, at the heart of all of France's most productive spells, went close twice himself around the 65-minute mark, one shot soundly saved by Joubert and the other deflected as France sought a deserved second.
  
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was finally called into action in the 74th minute, safely pocketing a Guy Blaise header.
  
But the home side's pressure finally paid off, man-of-the-match Gourcuff firing home from 25 metres past Joubert's despairing lunge after a quickly-taken free-kick.
  
Replacement Sami Nasri then made a hash of what should have been a third, blasting a Loic Remy cross high and wide from close range.
  
And Gourcuff could only direct a late header from a pinpoint Payet cross directly at Joubert, who had the last word as he fended off a well-struck Nasri half-volley with his legs.
 

Date created : 2010-10-13

  • FOOTBALL

    France secure late victory over Romania in Euro 2012 qualifier

    Read more

COMMENT(S)