Ukraine 2 France 0 match report: Trouble for France after poor display in Kiev

 

Ukraine stunned France with two second-half goals on Friday to win the first leg of their World Cup playoff 2-0 and put the heavily favored visitors in real danger of missing next year's tournament.

Roman Zozulya patiently took his time in the 61st before placing a shot past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris' grasping fingertips, and Andriy Yarmolenko added the second from a penalty in the 82nd. 

Both teams were reduced to 10 men in injury time as Laurent Koscielny and Oleksandr Kucher were sent off. 

"We took a hit today. This was a bad result, but there's a second match and we shall see what happens in that one," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "We didn't come to play for a draw or just defend." 

France, which hasn't missed a major tournament since 1994, frequently tried to attack down the left wing through Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri, but couldn't find the final touch going forward. The best attempt came in the 36th when Nasri broke into the area and layed the ball off to Ribery, but he tapped his effort straight at Andriy Piatov. 

Samir Nasri struck a bouncing volley that was saved 20 minutes into the second half, and Piatov had to dive to the far post to save Moussa Sissoko's shot. Franck Ribery's effort in the 77th that met another diving save from Piatov. 

France enjoyed nearly 60 percent possession, but Ukraine had the best scoring chances. 

Yarmolenko tested Lloris in the seventh but the goalkeeper was perfectly positioned. Yarmolenko's cross in the 25th then sailed over two teammates in the area. 

Yevhen Konoplyanka presented a frequent danger down the left side for Ukraine, but his two attempts five minutes apart in the second half missed their mark. 

Koscielny had a bad day as he fouled Zozulya in the box to set up the penalty for the second goal, and the defender was then sent for hitting Kucher in the face in injury time. Kucher was given a second booking two minutes later. 

France hosts the second leg on Tuesday. 

"Ukraine played aggressively today," Deschamps said. "The first half was balanced, as was the second half more or less, but Ukraine opened the scoring and that changed the dynamic. This proves Ukraine isn't a weak team, now they have the advantage."

AP

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing