Matuidi puts France in control of their World Cup destiny

Jerome Frank
October 10, 2017

There is also history between the two nations, as the last time France failed to qualify for the World Cup was in 1994 following a late defeat to Bulgaria in qualifying.

But it now faces a near impossible task, as Sweden thrashed Luxembourg 8-0 earlier on October 7, with forward Marcus Berg scoring four goals, to extend their advantage over Dick Advocaat's men on goal difference to 12.

The win sends them back to the summit of Group A and secures at the very least a play-off spot, but they go into Tuesday's home game against Belarus knowing three points will confirm their place in Russian Federation next year.

At the 84th minute, Arejen Robben scored with a penalty kick to put the Netherlands ahead 2-1, then Memphis Depay wrapped it up for the final 3-1 victory.

The Dutch trail Sweden by three points, and although they host the Swedes on Tuesday, the Organje will have to win by at least six goals or face missing out on a second successive major tournament.

Lucas Digne played an incisive ball into the feet of Griezmann and the Atletico Madrid star cleverly teed up Matuidi, who powerfully slotted into the far top corner from an acute angle.

Fabian Frei's deflected shot doubled the lead two minutes later, and Switzerland added a third before the break as Xherdan Shaqiri won the ball back outside the Hungary box and played in Steven Zuber to score.

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Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had little to do until the 37th minute when he was called into action twice in a matter of seconds.

Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to spare Portugal's blushes in a 2-0 win over lowly Andorra, with AC Milan's Andre Silva netting a late second. "We knew it would be hard, they're a team that had won four times at home in this group".

"We have a quality group with lots of players".

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.

The late game in that Group saw Greece come from a goal down to beat Cyprus 2-1 and go second in the group with a game to go.

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

The other game in the group sees Gibraltar, who are without a point, host Estonia.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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