Ukraine 2 France 0 match report: Trouble for France after poor display in Kiev
Friday 15 November 2013
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."
Latest in Sport
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
Chelsea 4 Tottenham 0 match report: Samuel Eto’o stoops to conquer sorry Spurs
West Brom 0 Manchester United 3 match report: Manchester United stick to the script as Robin Van Persie loses the plot
Arsenal 4 Everton 1 match report: Revitalised Mesut Özil breathes life into Arsenal
Transfer news: Micah Richards could fill gap at Arsenal with Bacary Sagna's departure as Manchester City contract winds down
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Dear 'The Sun', breast cancer isn't sexy
- 4 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it