Azerbaijan give France perfect 10

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The Independent Online
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France achieved their biggest win in international football with a 10- 0 demolition of Azerbaijan in their European Championship Group One qualifier in Auxerre last night.

The French, who had managed only seven goals in their seven previous qualifiers, penetrated Azerbaijan's porous defence almost at will to collect their highest tally since an 8-0 defeat of Iceland 38 years ago.

Eight different men found the net for the French, whose hopes of reaching the finals were raised by Romania's 0-0 draw in Poland. The Poles, in third place, trail France by two points, while leaders Romania are four points clear.

Sweden, semi-finalists at the World Cup last year, will not be at the European finals in England next year. They were held 0-0 in Gothenburg by Switzerland, while Turkey beat Hungary 2-0 in Istanbul thanks to two goals from Hakan Sukur. The Swiss and the Turks have now booked the top two places in Group Three.

Belgium, like Sweden regular qualifiers for major finals, are also out following their 3-1 home defeat by Denmark in Group Two. Spain, who thrashed Cyprus 6-0 in Granada, look set to win the section.

Despite a 1-0 home win over Belarus, the Netherlands, who had Aron Winter sent off, are struggling to qualify from Group Five. The Czech Republic's 2-0 victory over Norway keeps the Dutch in third place, one point adrift of the Czechs.

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