Didier Deschamps Points To Lack Of Aggression In Slender France Win

Posted October 10, 2017

Blaise Matuidi's early goal was enough to take France to the brink of the World Cup finals as they secured a 1-0 away win against Bulgaria on Saturday.

There is also history between the two nations, as the last time France did not qualify for the World Cup was in 1994 after a late defeat to Bulgaria in qualifying.

"We're still first - that's important - we've got one match left and (qualification) remains in our hands, so we have to win on Tuesday".

"There is a lot of satisfaction, but it is only one step", he said.

Belarus equalised through Maksim Volodjko.

Trailing the Scandinavians by three points, only a massive victory over Sweden in Amsterdam next week will save the three-time World Cup runners-up.

France were held to a shock draw at home to Luxembourg in their last qualifier to leave qualification in the balance - just three days after a superb performance in the 4-0 thrashing of Holland.

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The European champion had to wait until the 63rd minute for Ronaldo to break the deadlock on the artificial pitch, before Andre Silva finally put their nerves to bed.

All the focus on Saturday with regard to the Republic of Ireland making a World Cup qualifying play-off centred on Group D.

Lacazette should have doubled France's lead just before the 30-minute mark after being found inside the Bulgarian box by Mbappe, but the Arsenal forward was denied by a brilliant challenge from Vasil Bozhikov. Presumably wanting to rest their talisman, coach Fernando Santos started with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench.

That result meant that France went into their match with Bulgaria two points behind the Swedes at the top of the Group. "When you have good players, it's normal to expect us to make a difference".

South Africa recorded their first win in Group D with a 3-1 success against Burkina Faso despite losing Bongani Zungu to a red card in the second-half, but Senegal top group D after late goals from Diafra Sakho and Cheikh N'Doye earned them a 2-0 win at Cape Verde.

In Group H, Greece looks set to qualify behind Belgium who has already qualified.

Edin Visca then completed the comeback for Bosnia before half-time after an error from Jan Vertonghen, but Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi hit back to equalise in the second half and Vertonghen put Belgium ahead again.