France v Ukraine

19 November 2013 22:00 SAST 2013-11-19 10:00:00 PM SAST
Ref: D. Skomina
Stade de France
Attendance: 77 098
  • M. Sakho 22', 72'
  • K. Benzema 34'
(Aggr 3-2)
0 15 30 45 60 75 90 15 30

live commentary

    Good evening folks, welcome to LIVE coverage of the 2014 World Cup play-off second leg clash between France and Ukraine from the Stade de France in Paris!
    I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action!
    Is there a bigger prize in football than the opportunity to go to the World Cup?
    We'll certainly find out tonight just how much some of the players from France and Ukraine will fight for their place.
    Ukraine go into the battle with a potentially vital two-goal advantage after winning the first leg 2-0 in Kiev on Friday. Roman Zozulya and Andriy Yarmolenko were on target to give Mykhaylo Fomenko's men the edge before the second leg.
    France (4-3-3): Lloris; Debuchy, Sakho, Varane, Evra; Matuidi, Cabaye, Pogba; Ribery, Benzema, Valbuena.
    Ukraine (4-2-3-1): Pyatov; Mandzyuk, Khacheridi, Rakitsky, Shevchuk; Bezus, Rotan; Yarmolenko, Edmar, Konoplyanka, Zozulya.
    France coach Didier Deschamps knows all too well about the heartache of failure to qualify for the tournament at this stage. The former France captain was part of the team who lost 2-1 to Bulgaria at Parc des Princes in November 1993, a result which halted a trip to the USA for the 1994 World Cup.
    Les Bleus' key man tonight is undoubtedly Balln d'OR nominee Franck Ribery, who has scored four goals in his last three international matches.
    However, Ukraine are no strangers to disappointment at this stage of qualifying. Play-off defeats to Croatia, Germany and Greece stopped them reaching the World Cup in 1998, 2002 and 2010.
    Taking all the factors into account; this promises to be one supremely entertaining contest!
    The national anthems are passionately belted out by each set of supporters in the Stade de France!
  • 1'
    We are under way in this World Cup play-off!
  • 3'
    tI really is an electric atmosphere in Paris tonight! So much on the line!
  • 7'
    It's only seven minutes into the match but already Ribery has come in for some harsh attention from the Ukraine players. Rotan earns the first booking of the match for bundling the Bayern Munich man over with authority.
  • 7'
    R. Rotan goes into the referee's book.
  • 9'
    POGBA!!!! NEARLY, NEARLY!! A corner kick is floated in from the right-hand side and the Juventus youngster bullets a header at goal, but his attempt goes just north of the bar!
  • 10'
    BENZEMA!!!! FRANCE ARE PILING ON THE PRESSURE EARLY DOORS HERE! The striker is the latest to have a pop, and again it's with a header. The attempt didn't pose to much of a threat to Pyatov this time, though!
  • 12'
    All the play has gone through the hosts so far. This is exactly the kind of attitude that Deschamps would have wanted from his players, but is it a few days too late?
  • 14'
    Fair play to the French fans though, they are relentlessly booing the Ukraine players whenever they are in possession, and passionately cheering their players when any attack is looking likely!
  • 15'
    In fact, the boos are absolutely deafening as Yarmolenko goes down with an injury inside the France half. The fans they he's play-acting, but it looked pretty legitimate! The Dynamo Kyiv man should be fine though!
  • 17'
    Superb work by Konoplyanka down the left-hand side as he shows Debuchy a clean pair of heels before out-muscling him and earning a corner kick. Set-pieces like this will be vital tonight for Ukraine tonight, you would feel.
  • 19'
    The visiting nation are just starting to edge their way back into contention here. Les Bleus were dominant in the opening stages but failed to capitalise on their flurry of chances. Will they regret that come 90 minutes?
  • 20'
    The ball breaks to Edmar on the edge of the area and he looks to spray a pass to the right wing for Yarmolenko but there was just too much on it and France get the throw in.
  • 22'
    GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLL FOR FRANCE!! THEY MAKE THE BREAK THROUGH!! A superb cross into the box from Valbuena is cleared to the edge of the box but Pyatov is forced into a superb save as a shot comes back in towards the bottom corner! But Sakho was on hand to lash the ball into the corner from the rebound! 1-0!
  • 23'
    What a celebration! The stadium exploded with cheers!
  • 24'
    Ribery bursts down the left-hand side and drifts past a couple of challenges before looking to dink the ball to the back post. The cross comes off a Ukraine defender though, and France get the corner.
  • 25'
    Valbuena whips in another wicked set-piece but on this occasion the Ukrainians manage to scramble the ball away! The Marseille man's delivery has been top drawer so far tonight!
  • 26'
    Pogbaaaaaaaa!!! How close was that?! The 20-year-old drives forward through the middle and has a crack at goal from 20 yards, but his attempt whistles past Pyatov and strips the paint off the top of the bar! Inches!
  • 28'
    Bezus is looking for a penalty! He shifts the ball back on to his right foot inside the box but goes down under the challenge of Debuchy! France are let off the hook though as the official only whistles for a corner. Looked like it would have been a harsh decision!
  • 30'
    GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL FOR FRANCE!! WAIT! NO! OFFSIDE!! Ribery lashes a cross along the goal and the ball comes to Benzema at the back post who scrambles it on, but the linesman flags!
  • 31'
    There wasn't much in that at all!
  • 33'
    What a save from Pyatov!!! The ball comes to Valbuena 18 yards out and he rifles a strike towards goal that looks destined for the top corner, but the Ukraine 'keeper somehow gets up to tip the strike over the bar!
  • 34'
    GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL FOR FRANCE!!! THEY'VE LEVELED THE TIE!! A scramble inside the box sees the ball bounce fortuitously off Valbuena before falling to the feet of Benzema, who smashes home from a few yards out! 2-0!
  • 34'
    M. Valbuena gave the assist.
  • 35'
    Dear oh dear, that goal was A MILE OFFSIDE!
  • 36'
    Now Benzema previously had a goal that was flagged as offside when he was on, but should that excuse such a terrible decision? Should referees be excused if their decisions even themselves out?
  • 37'
    France wont care though, and they are now massive favourites to progress to the World Cup. One goal from Ukraine though, and it is a totally different story.
  • 39'
    There's a break in play at the moment as Bezus is currently down injured after a nasty collision with Cabaye. It was the Ukrainians tackle, but he's come off the worst, and he's suffering the wrath of the French fans as they boo him.
  • 41'
    Both sides are guilty of surrendering possession far too easy at the moment here. Short passes are being intercepted, and it is interrupting the flow of the play.
  • 43'
    In an almost carbon copy of the previous challenge, Bezus and Cabaye collide and the Newcastle but naughtily leaves the boot in slightly. Bezus is down again and Ukraine get the free kick.
  • 44'
    Khacheridi and Sakho both go into the book as they get into a slight scuffle during the build-up to a corner kick. They'll both have to be careful now, both rather explosive personalities!
  • 45'
    Y. Khacheridi is yellow-carded.
  • 45'
    M. Sakho is cautioned by the referee.
    Half time in Paris. Mahamadou Sakho opened the scoring for France with a lashes close range finish and Karim Benzema netted the second from an offside position after previously seeing a goal wrongly ruled as offside. There will certainly be a spotlight on the officials after this one! We enter the break at 2-2 on aggregate, perfectly poised!
    Don't forget folks, no team has ever come back from a two-goal deficit from the first leg in a World Cup play-off to go on and head to the tournament. Are France about to make history or will Ukraine hold on?
  • 46'
    We are back under way! 45 minutes to decide who is going to Brazil!
  • 47'
    Khacheridi is sent off for Ukraine!!! The 26-year-old sees yellow for the second time as he horribly scythes down Ribery down the left-hand side!
  • 47'
    Y. Khacheridi gets a second yellow card and is sent off!
  • 48'
    A sickener for Ukraine! This task just got a hell of a lot more difficult!
  • 49'
    BEZUUUUUSSSS!!! UNLUCKY!! The ball breaks to the Dynamo Kyiv man 25 yards out and he drills a strike towards the left corner that flashes just wide of the post! Lloris was certainly scrambling across!
  • 50'
    Interestingly, no changes yet from Mykhaylo Fomenko. It was only a few minutes ago that Khacheridi saw red but they'll have to reshuffle themselves defensively or France will run over the top of them.
  • 52'
    Ribery makes a fantastic run through the middle and eventually breaks left before hitting the byline. He cuts the ball back to Valbuena who curls a cross towards Benzema but Ukraine smuggle the ball out of the box!
  • 54'
    Cabayeeee!!! Unlucky! The ball breaks to the Newcastle man just outside the box and he looks to smash the ball towards goal on the half volley, but the ball bounces up awkwardly and the strike is dragged wide.
  • 56'
    It's been all France since that sending off for Khacheridi. Two goals down and a man down against a team with the talent of Les Bleus will be difficult for the Ukrainians to resist!
  • 58'
    Benzema!! Just wide! The latest France attack sees three or four players flooding forward and the ball eventually come to the Real Madrid man. He looks to find the bottom corner but his attempt nestles into the side-netting!
  • 60'
    30 minutes to go here in this World Cup play-off. We are currently drawing at 2-2 on aggregate but the momentum is certainly with the hosts, who continue to press forward.
  • 62'
    Benzema looks to latch on to a pass over the top of the Ukraine defence but Mandzyuk recovers well after bursting a gut to get back and take ball off the toe of the Frenchman.
  • 64'
    Riberyyyyy!!! Just over AGAIN! The longer this match goes on the longer the French fans in the stands will get nervous, and no shots seem to be going in for the hosts at the moment!
  • 64'
    O. Husyev enters play, replacing R. Bezus.
  • 65'
    Ukraine finally make the tactical change required as Roman Bezus is replaced by 30-year-old full back, Oleh Husyev.
  • 67'
    A break in play at the moment as Evra goes in late on Yarmolenko. It wasn't a particularly vicious challenge, but it was late, and out of control. The Dynamo Kyiv man is down and looks in pain.
  • 67'
    P. Evra is yellow-carded.
  • 69'
    Ohhhh that's a terribly late challenge from Debuchy! The Newcastle man goes in with the studs high on Konoplyanka and goes into the book for his trouble. A lot of challenges flying in now!
  • 69'
    M. Debuchy gets yellow.
  • 71'
    CABAYE!! Great save again from Pyatov! The 27-year-old, who has scored some spectacular long range strikes this season, tries his luck from distance with a rasper of a strike but the Ukraine 'keeper got across goal to beat the attempt away!
  • 72'
    GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLL FOR FRANCE!! THE ALL-IMPORTANT THIRD GOAL!! A miscued shot from Ribery sees the ball fortuitously break to Sakho, who smuggles the ball home from inside the six yard box! 3-2 on aggregate!
  • 73'
    There's a chance that strike from Sakho may have took a nick off Husyev on the way through!
  • 75'
    Fifteen minutes remaining for Ukraine to save their World Cup dream here. Don't forget, one goal from Mykhaylo Fomenko's men will see them progress on away goals. The game is so delicately poised!
  • 76'
    Ukraine make their second change of the match as Roman Zozulya is replaced by Yevhen Seleznyov.
  • 76'
    Y. Seleznyov enters play, replacing R. Zozulya.
  • 77'
    France follow suit and make a substitution of their own as Bacary Sagna is introduced in place of Debuchy, who just slightly limps off the pitch. He may be carrying a knock.
  • 78'
    B. Sagna enters the game and replaces M. Debuchy.
  • 79'
    France are confidently strutting around the park now and their passing has improved now that the pressure has been slightly lifted. The match is on a complete knife edge though. If there is another goal in this match. it will be truly damaging to the opposition at this point.
  • 81'
    Poor finish in the end from Ribery! The Bayern man brilliantly skips by a couple of challenges on the edge of the box but his eventual strike at goal goes high, wide, and not very handsome! He was way off balance!
  • 82'
    O. Giroud comes on for K. Benzema.
  • 83'
    France make their second change of the match as Olivier Giroud is introduced into the match in place of Benzema. The Arsenal man should be looking to hold up the play in the final third for the hosts.
  • 85'
    Giroooooudddd!! He almost scored shortly after coming on with a superb strike, but he is denied by yet another excellent stop from Pyatov! Corner to France!
  • 87'
    Ukraine hump a ball into the box but Lloris comes out of goal and commandingly claim the ball out of the air. The France captain receives a massive cheer from the home fans as he takes the pressure off his side.
  • 89'
    Three minutes of injury time added on. France are doing pretty well to keep the ball in the final third but surely there must be nerves out there, one goal for Ukraine changes everything!
  • 90'
    V. Mandzyuk is cautioned by the referee.
  • 90'
    It doesn't look like Ukraine believe in themselves to go out and grab the winner here. Barring a massive climax, it looks like France are going to Rio!
    Les Bleus have successfully overcame their two-goal deficit from the first leg and will now feature in the World Cup next summer. Mahamadou Sakho scored a remarkable double and Karim Benzema was on target as France go through 3-2 on aggregate. Ukraine wholly deserved their victory on Friday evening, but they have been outclassed tonight as Deschamps men went in with the right attitude to claim the victory! I'm Martin Macdonald, thanks for joining us, see you in Brazil!