France faced Ukraine tonight in Paris, having lost last week by two goals and needing at least a three goal victory to reach next year’s World Cup in Brazil. They played a wonderful game in front of their home fans, and were able to qualify for Brazil by defeating a tough Ukraine team. Didier Deschamps‘ team played like they had to, with the mindset that if they didn’t win, they would be watching the World Cup from the comfort of their own homes. Led by captain Patrice Evra, France defeated Ukraine three goals to nil, and booked their stop for next year.
Franck Ribery put in an excellent performance in his bid to be crowned FIFA World Player of the Year next month. He showed that he is able to help guide a team destined for failure after a terrible performance in Kiev last week. He is France’s best player, and he certainly proved it tonight with a true, world-class performance.
Karim Benzema was able to finally put an end to his string of pathetic performances for Les Blues, and took his goal well. The Real Madrid forward is starting to hit top form for both club and country. Deschamps knew he had to make some changes after last week’s humiliating display, and wisely added Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho to his starting 11. The move paid off, as Sakho scored a brace that included the game-winning goal that sends France to Brazil.
Today’s performance proved that France is a gritty team that will cause a lot of problems next year at the World Cup; they will not be an easy team to face, and on a good night, are capable of beating any team in the world. Unfortunately, they always seem to get themselves into trouble and have yet to find their best starting XI. Once they do, they will be one of Europe’s most dangerous teams.