France blows away cobwebs to sink Bosnia

08:11, September 09, 2010      

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France got its Euro 2012 qualifying campaign back on track and quickly turned the page on its shock defeat to Belarus with a superb 2-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday.

Karim Benzema, returning to the side after injury, opened the scoring in the 72nd minute when he controled Gael Clichy's left-wing cross, span away from a defender and fired left-footed past Kenan Hasagic.

The visitor doubled its lead six minutes later with a delightfully executed goal, Florent Malouda tapping into an empty net after a one-touch move involving Benzema, Abou Diaby and Mathieu Valbuena.

"Our use of the ball was very good and, contrary to what happened on Friday (against Belarus), we got forward quickly," said France coach Laurent Blanc, who had tasted defeat in his first two matches in charge.

"The fact we played deeper allowed us to create space and we have players up front, like Karim, who like space. We produced a marvelous result tonight."

The three points were rich reward for a performance full endeavor from France, which had been booed off by its own fans after losing 1-0 to Belarus in Paris.

By contrast, Bosnia had begun its qualifying campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Luxembourg, but it appeared surprised by the assured nature of France's play and threatened only fitfully.

Miralem Pjanic went closest, but his long-range free kick was pushed away by his Lyon teammate Hugo Lloris in the France goal.

France's quick-fire goals provoked the wrath of the home fans. Captain Emir Spahic, who had been left for dead by Benzema's pirouette before the opening goal, had to appeal for calm after flares were thrown on to the pitch.

Les Bleus could have won even more handsomely, but the inventive Valbuena saw a low drive parried by Hasagic and Benzema also drew a sharp save from the home goalkeeper with a close-range volley.

"I'm not surprised. France are a great team and I can't see them not finishing in the top two (in the group)," Bosnia coach Safet Susic said .

"It's a big disappointment. We respected France a bit too much. We were too timid."

The trip to Sarajevo was supposed to be France's most taxing Group D assignment, but the smiles on the players' faces at the final whistle suggested it could be the game that finally puts the World Cup fiasco to bed.

Blanc had beefed up the French starting XI by aligning Diaby, Yann M'Vila and skipper for the night. Alou Diarra, in a muscular midfield, with Benzema operating as a lone forward in a 4-3-3 formation.

Blanc punched the air with delight as Malouda tapped home the second. His side will now look forward to the visit of Romania on Oct 9 with renewed confidence.

Source: China Daily/Agencies

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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