France closing in on World Cup finals spot

Kristopher Drake
October 10, 2017

Bulgaria more than held its own in Sofia, though, as it looked to repeat the famous win over France that sent them to the 1994 World Cup, and Hugo Lloris was forced into a point-blank save to deny Georgi Kostadinov.

It was a nervy performance from the French, who endured long spells of pressure from the Bulgarians and saw N'Golo Kante pick up a hamstring injury after just half an hour, although victory at home to Belarus on Monday will secure their place in Russian Federation.

France were fairly comfortable in holding onto their lead for the last 20 minutes and will go into Tuesday's home game against Belarus knowing a win will secure top spot in the Group A. The lead was doubled in the 86th minute by Andre Silva. Davy Propper, Captain Arjen Robben, and Memphis Depay scored for the Dutch as they beat Belarus 3-1. However, the latter have the superior goal difference and they may add to that against a side who have lost all of their nine game so far.

But Hungary equalised 10 minutes after half-time as Sergey Balanovich led a counter-attack and found Maksim Volodko to slot his low shot out of the reach of Jasper Cillessen.

The visitors almost scored a second after 15 minutes when Kylian Mbappe demonstrated his breathtaking speed to burst past Nikolay Bodurov, forcing Plamen Iliev into a smart save. But we played like men.

The Swiss can qualify on Tuesday with at least a draw in Portugal, who needed Cristiano Ronaldo to come off the bench to rescue a 2-0 victory in Andorra.

"If we can qualify, we will have a role to play".

Greece are in second place, two points clear of Bosnia-Herzegovina. "We knew it would be hard, they're a team that had won four times at home in this group".

The visitors put on the pressure from the first moment in the Saturday match, with pure aggression that got its results with an early goal for France, reports Efe.

Bulgaria pushed harder in the second half but France were always in control as they snatched their first away win against Bulgaria since 1932.

Thomas Meunier had put Belgium in front after just four minutes, but goals from Haris Medunjanin on the half-hour and Edin Visca after 39 minutes put the hosts ahead going into the break.

The other early kickoff in that group saw qualifying rookies Gibraltar suffer yet another thrashing, loosing 6-0 at home to Estonia.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article