France out to complete World Cup job

Oct 12, 2017, 00:43
France out to complete World Cup job

Yet, both sides have much to improve on after stuttering campaigns almost derailed their hopes for automatic qualification as respective group winners.

France have to beat Belarus in the Stade de France to advance to the world's top tournament in 2018, and while that's obviously not a bad situation, France would have preferred to have qualification wrapped up far before the final matchday of the group.

Michael Skibbe's side are nearly certain to finish second as they host pointless Gibraltar in their last game on Tuesday, although they could still miss out on the play-offs as the worst second-placed team. "It's a muscular problem behind the thigh", Deschamps said. In the past five head to head records between these two teams, France won three games and two matches ended in a draw.

However, with 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe the pick of the crop of an exciting young squad, Deschamps has a lot of material to work with.

"We had a hard course, tonight the match was not simple either, but we reached our goal", he told French television station TF1. "At the highest level, you have to take those chances when it counts".

The Dutch needed a victory in Barysaw to keep alive any hopes of a top-two finish, but despite a third goal in two games from Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Davy Propper, Belarus equalised through Maksim Volodjko.

"We know we can do better and it's encouraging to want to do better". I'm lucid enough to see we didn't control the game in Bulgaria.

"We have to stay positive", said coach Vladimir Petkovic.

"For quite some time we have had an atmosphere that we have not always had, people come and are deep behind this team", he added.

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