Mathieu Debuchy and Yohan Cabaye both started the game for France against Ukraine tonight, and both Newcastle men played their part in France’s magnificent 3-0 win over Ukraine in Paris tonight to reach the World Cup finals with a 3-2 aggregate against Ukraine.
It was the first defeat for Ukraine in twelve games this year.
Yohan Cabaye – through to World Cup Final
And it was the first time in the World Cup for a European country that a side had come back from being two goals down after the first leg.
So make no mistake this was a fantastic and gutsy win by a France side in front of a sold-out Paris crowd tonight.
Goals from Sakho after 22 minutes and Benzema after 34 minutes had put France level at 2-2, after losing the first leg 2-0 in Kyiv, and those were the first goals conceded by Ukraine in nine games.
Just before half time Mathieu Debuchy somehow blocked a goal bound shot almost on the goal line.
And with France the better side in the first half the tide turned big time for the home side after 47 minutes, when Ukraine’s Yevhen Khacheridi was sent off for a second yellow card., after a foul on Franck Ribery.
France started to dominate the game, but Benzema missed a great chance just six yards out after 58 minutes and then after 66 minutes a beautiful strike from Debuchy from just outside the box, flashed just wide.
Mathieu Debuchy – had another good game for France tonight
After 71 minutes a shot from Cabaye looked like it was going in, but the goalkeeper saved well low to his left, with the two Newcastle men prominent for France.
And then it was that man Sakho again who put France ahead for the first time in the tie, and it was after 72 minutes with a goal from close range after Ukraine had failed to clear.
Mathieu Debuchy was taken off after 78 minutes and substituted, and he got a great ovation from the Paris crowd for another excellent display in French blue.
And then substitute Giroud had a header after 85 minutes brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper, as France tried to get the 4th goal and it would have been all over.
But then after 3 minutes of added time that was it, it was all over and France had made a remarkable come-back to reach the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer.
Neither Moussa Sissoko or Loic Remy got on tonight, but all our French players will be on a huge high now, after a terrific performance from this France side.
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