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FRANCE DEFLATED UKRANE BY 2-0

By Emmanuel Penzie
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The match finally kicked off after a long delay, due to heavy downpour, lightning and thunderstorms. The game, which started on a good tempo with both teams being cautious, saw France doing most of the attacks. The Ukrainian defence, was strong and well organise to foil these attacks and counter attack which nearly paid off on the 24th minute but missed narrowly by Andry Yarmolenko.

The French came close to scoring soon after, but Jeremy Menez fired wide and over the bar. Menez came in again connecting a cross which should have been a goal, but the Ukrainian keeper was there to save the day.

Andriy Shevchenko was painfully denied a scoring opportunity by the French keeper, after he beautifully controlled a long pass from the midfield. The Ukrainian keeper again was there to save the day, when Mexes's powerful header from a cross was punched away. France grew stronger in the attack, and created few decent chances but could not convert them.

The French started the second half with beautiful combination of passes from Benzema, Menez, Nasri and Ribbery which nearly paid off but was squandered by Menez. The Ukrainians, turned the table as they mounted incessant attacks from the flanks, that sent the fans cheering which boosted their confidence.

Their swelling confidence, was popped as Menez beautifully fired home at close range. Three minutes later, Cabaye spoiled the show for the Ukraneans as he beautifully controlled and slotted into the bottom corner of the net, a sweett pass from Karim Benzema.

The confidence of the 1998 world champions, knows no boundaries as they mounted more pressure on their opponents. Cabaye was denied again this time by the post, when he powerfully fired from behind the eighteen-yard box. Ribbery was brought down at the edge of the eighteen-yard box, which earned him a free-kick, but was shot far and wide. Oliver Giroud came on for Benzema on the 75th minute.

The French certainly have the materials to make it to the next level of the competition.

Emmanuel Penzie