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Anthony Martial beats Ukrainian goalkeeper Andrey Pyatov closely in the Ukraine-France draw in Kiev, September 4, 2021 / AFP
France went to great lengths but could not do better than a draw against Ukraine (1-1) on Saturday in qualifying for the World Cup-2022, while the Netherlands were reassured against the Montenegro (4-0).
The reigning world champions no longer win. Eliminated in the round of 16 of the Euro by Switzerland (3-3, 5-4 t.a.b.), the Blues still drew, on the same score as Wednesday against Bosnia, but making a better copy.
In Kiev, for more than an hour, the coach Didier Deschamps, already deprived of Kylian Mbappé, affected in a calf, also chose to deprive himself of Karim Benzema. And it was the Ukrainians who opened the scoring, by Shaparenko (44th), with a superb shot, after a nice counter-attack following a face to face missed by Anthony Martial.
The Manchester United striker still found the opening (50th) from the restart, at close range, and scored his first goal in Blue since 2016. The victory could have come from Moussa Diaby (77th), whose nice shot crusader hit the Ukrainian post.
Little consolation, in accounting terms, the Habs remain at the top of Group D with 9 points, with a good lead over the Ukrainians (5 pts) and the Finns (5 pts) they welcome Tuesday in Lyon.
Memphis Depay author of a double during the great success of the Netherlands on Montenegro in Eindhoven, September 4, 2021 / ANP / AFP
The Dutch were also hung 1-1 on Wednesday in Norway. Their clear victory against Montenegro, thanks to a brace from ex-Lyonnais Memphis Depay and a goal from neo-Parisian Georgino Wijnaldum, allows them to stay in contact (10 points) with Turkey (11 pts) who struggled to Gibraltar (2-0).
The Dutch remain level on points with Norway who logically won in Latvia (2-0), thanks to a new goal from the prodigy Erling Haaland, from the penalty spot.
The Croatian vice-world champions remain at the top of Group H thanks to their last-minute victory in Slovakia (1-0), on a Brozovic goal in the 86th minute. The Russians had the easier game at the bottom of the group, Cyprus, but won only 2-0.
The Croats dominated Slovakia thanks to a late goal from Marcelo Brozovic in Bratislava on September 4, 2021 / AFP
In the astonishing register, Denmark, semi-finalist of the Euro, remains the only team, with England, with a perfect score in these qualifications: 15 pts in 5 matches, but it had to wait for the 85th minute and a Wind’s goal to secure the shot (1-0) to the Faroe Islands.
Meanwhile, in the match between their closest pursuers, Israel beat Austria (5-2) with the most prolific score of the night in Haifa.
Finally, in Group A, Serbia joined Portugal in the lead by beating Luxembourg (4-1). Cristiano Ronaldo, returned to Manchester after his brace against Ireland on Wednesday, did not play the friendly match against Qatar, which the Seleçao won 3-1.