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France Storms past Ukraine

France Storms past Ukraine

France secured an impressive 2-0 win over Ukraine in a game delayed an hour by a fierce thunderstorm.

MATCH SUMMARY

 

  • Man of the Match: Karim Benzema - He may not have got on the scoreline, but the Real Madrid striker was superb leading the line for France. Rarely making a wrong decision when on the ball, Benzema provided the assist for both goals which defeated the co-hosts.

     

  • Ukraine verdict: They had their moments, but in the end their defence was not good enough to hold back the attacking power of France. They may yet still make the quarter-finals, but this performance must leave a few doubts in the players' minds - certainly those at the back.

     

  • France verdict: But for Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, who made a string of fine saves, France would have been big winners in the Donbass Arena. After making sure they did not slip up at the back, unlike against England, this should give them more confidence to go on in the tournament. But they have yet to be tested by a true quality side.

     

  • Could do better: Yevhen Konoplyanka - Marked down as Ukraine's danger man, Konoplyanka failed to shine in Donetsk as his crosses failed to find a man and he drifted onto the periphery of the game.

     

  • Stat attack: The victory over Ukraine is France's first win at a European Championship without Michel Platini or Zinedine Zidane.

The first half was less than five minutes old when referee Bjorn Kuipers was forced to take the players off for their own safety due to torrential rain, thunder and lightning. Hundreds of fans had already retreated from their seats due to the downpour.There was the fear that the teams would have to come back on Saturday to try again, but at 6pm BST the players came back out and resumed.France dominated and should have been well in front by half-time. After the break Ukraine improved but their progress was halted when Jeremy Menez slotted home from a Karim Benzema pass in the 53rd minute.And it was two just three minutes later, Benzema again the architect and this time Yohan Cabaye slid the ball under Andriy Pyatov.France had many chances to add to their lead, but in the end settled for a result which still puts them in a strong position in Group D.

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