FOOTBALL - FRIENDLY

France edges out Turkey 1-0

France beat Turkey 1-0 on a Karim Benzema penalty in a football friendly on Friday. The home side desperately needed a victory after an embarrassing loss to Nigeria in another friendly earlier in the week.

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REUTERS - France bounced back from an embarrassing defeat by Nigeria to win 1-0 against a Turkey side reduced to 10 men for most of the match in an incident-ridden friendly on Friday.

The game was stopped by the referee with 12 minutes left after flares were thrown onto the pitch from a section of the Gerland stadium filled with Turkish supporters.

A Turkish fan ran onto the pitch during the break, which lasted a few minutes. The game resumed and no further incidents were reported.

The former world and European champions, jeered by their fans after losing 1-0 to Nigeria in another friendly on Tuesday in St Etienne, struggled at first but then stepped up a gear to score their fourth win over Turkey in as many encounters.

The turning point came seven minutes from the break when defender Ibrahim Uzulmez was sent off for a challenge on Nicolas Anelka in the box. Karim Benzema converted the resulting penalty to give France the lead in a match played in torrential rain.

The second half was a one-sided affair with many chances for the home side, who were denied a second goal by a string of great saves from Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Demirel. Forward Sidney Govou nearly made it 2-0 when he hit the post from inside the area in the closing stages.

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