French record falls to Pedersen

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The Independent Online
A single goal by Per Pedersen ended France's three-year, 30- match unbeaten run when Denmark beat them 1-0 in a friendly international yesterday.

Closely marked by France's Marcel Desailly, Pedersen had his back to the goal when he received the ball from Marc Rieper but deftly used an overhead scissors kick to score. It was Pedersen's first goal in a full international and it was also France's first defeat since they lost to Bulgaria in November 1993.

France struggled to equalise but their best attempts, by Zinedine Zidane and Patrice Loko, failed to beat Peter Schmeichel.French coach Aime Jacquet's said: "Nothing happened, it was a totally negative game, with a concentration of the worst play I have ever seen since I became a selector."

Macedonia scored one of the biggest wins in World Cup history when they crushed Liechtenstein 11-1 in a Group Eight qualifier in Eschen. The result was the joint fourth highest victory in the tournament's 66-year history.

Macedonia moved up from fourth to first in the standings on seven points, ahead of the Republic of Ireland, Romania and Lithuania, who are all on six.

A classy 74th minute goal by Andreas Herzog gave Austria a 2-1 victory over 10-man Latvia in a World Cup qualifier yesterday. Herzog thundered a shot past goalkeeper Olegs Karavajevs from the left side of the box to send his team top of European Group Four. They are one point clear of Sweden, who play away to Scotland today.

Anton Polster put Austria ahead with a record 35th goal for his national side, tapping home a 43rd minute corner. But Vits Rimkus made the most of a goalkeeping mistake to grab an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

Seventeen minutes into the second half Latvia lost defender Igors Stepanovs after a second yellow card offence. Herzog sealed the issue 12 minutes later.

"We should have decided the match a lot earlier because we were the stronger side," said Herzog. "But we relaxed too much after scoring the first goal."

Meanwhile, Lennart Johansson, Swedish president of Uefa, has threatened to haul Jim Farry, the Scottish Football Association chief executive, before Fifa's disciplinary committee. Johansson was angered by remarks reportedly made by Farry after Fifa ordered the Group Four qualifier between Scotland and Estonia to be replayed.

David Kelly has been picked to partner Tony Cascarino in the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Iceland in Dublin today. Roy Keane and Phil Babb will also make comebacks for their country as Mick McCarthy makes three changes to the side which beat Macedonia 3- 0 a month ago.

Republic of Ireland (v Iceland, World Cup qualifying group eight, Dublin today): A Kelly (Sheffield Utd), Kenna (Blackburn), Breen (Birmingham), Keane (Manchester Utd), Babb (Liverpool), Irwin (Manchester Utd), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), McAteer (Liverpool), Townsend (Aston Villa, capt), D Kelly (Sunderland), Cascarino (Marseille). Subs to be named.

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