France beat Belarus in six-goal thriller in 2014 World Cup qualification
0:03, — Sport
France mounted a second-half turnaround to celebrate a 4-2 victory in the 2014 World Cup qualifying game against Belarus held at Gomel’s Tsentralnyi stadium on 10 September.
The match was officiated by Italy’s Daniele Orsato.
Belarus played quite well in the first half of the match in front of the 14,000-strong crowd in Gomel. Head coach Georgy Kondratyev’s side were solid in defense and marked the leader of the French national team Franck Ribery not letting him show all his magnificent skills. Belarus played well on counter-attacks, too, Alexander Hleb, Timofei Kalachev and Anton Putsilo connecting well to step up attacking effort again and again. One of the Belarusian attacks resulted in France conceding a corner in the 32nd minute which BATE’s defender Yegor Filipenko capitalized on. His header after a set-piece was not a powerful one but the ball bounced off the ground and France’s goalie Hugo Lloris did not manage to get hold of it. The score at the half time was 1-0 to roars of appreciation from the home fans.
After the break the visiting side added momentum and soon France equalized. Franck Ribery has gone down from the challenge by Belarus’ goalie Sergei Veremko in the box and a penalty was awarded to France. Franck Ribery kept his cool to dispatch the ball into the Belarusian net in the 47th minute for a 1-1 scoreline. Belarus, however, were not left astounded and scored ten minutes later. It was Timofei Kalachev who fired a great shot from distance and Hugo Lloris did not help his side again.
This turned out to be the end of Belarus’ goals that night. Georgy Kondratyev’s side seemed to have lost concentration and conceded three goals, some of which came after goalie Sergei Veremko’s mistakes. What began as a wonderful night for Belarusian football enthusiasts ended in a disappointing 2-4 defeat.
After the game Georgy Kondratyev noted that his side had quite a good game but lost because of ridiculous mistakes in defense in the second half. He also stressed that captain Sergei Veremko did not have the best of games. The keeper did not do well in other qualifying games, either.
In the other qualifying Group I game Finland snatched a narrow 1-0 away victory over Georgia, Roman Eremenko scoring from a penalty in the 74th minute. The leaders of the section, Spain, did not play a fixture that evening and instead travelled to Geneva where they met with Chile in a friendly match which ended 2-2.
Belarus are only one fixture left to play in the qualifying campaign. On 10 October they will face Spain away.
The Group I standings are as follows: Spain 14 points (6 games, goal difference 10-2), France 14 (7; 12-6), Finland 9 (7; 5-6), Georgia 5 (7; 3-8), Belarus 4 (7; 6-14).
The remaining fixtures in the group are as follows:
11 October: Spain vs. Belarus
15 October: Spain vs. Georgia, France vs. Finland
Winners of the nine qualifying groups enter the 2014 World Cup directly while eight second-placed teams will qualify for the playoff round which consists of two return matches scheduled for 15 and 19 November 2013.
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