Ukraine Holds France In World Cup Qualifier
Ukraine held World Champions France to a 1-1 draw during their FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Stadion NSK Olimpiyskiy in Kyiv on Saturday.
Les Bleus had drawn by the same scoreline against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their last previous encounter, and were unable to get back to winning ways.
Continuing life without ex-coach Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine took a surprise lead just before the end of the first half through a Mykola Shaparenko stunner. A loose ball fell his way on the edge of the area and he ran on and fired the ball into the top corner.
In the second half, the visitors came out fired up and were rewarded for the pressure they put on Ukraine.
Having missed a chance in the first half when put through by some Paul Pogba brilliance, Anthony Martial levelled early in the second as his volley crept just over the line.
Moussa Diaby almost won the game, but hit the post from Karim Benzema’s pass.
Seven of the 10 Group D games have resulted in draws, including all five of Ukraine’s games. France stay top of Group D on nine points from five games, with Ukraine third on five points. Finland, meanwhile, are in second on five points but with two games in hand over both sides.
France will host Finland on Tuesday.
UEFA World Cup Qualification results
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Azerbaijan
Serbia 4-1 Luxembourg
Finland 1-0 Kazakhstan
Ukraine 1-1 France
Faroe Islands 0-1 Denmark
Israel 5-2 Austria
Scotland 1-0 Moldova
Latvia 0-2 Norway
Gibraltar 0-3 Turkey
Netherlands 4-0 Montenegro
Cyprus 0-2 Russia
Slovenia 1-0 Malta
Slovakia 0-1 Croatia