France beat Ukraine in friendly with miracle comeback

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Three late goals saw a second-string France side inflict a 4-1 humbling of joint Euro 2012 hosts Ukraine in a internationl friendly match on Monday to extend their unbeaten run under coach Laurent Blanc to nine matches.

All the goals came in the second-half as the French came from a goal down – scored by veteran Ukrainian Anatoly Tymoschuk – with Kevin Gameiro levelling with his first goal in four appearances, a double from Marvin Martin on his debut and another from defender Younes Kaboul rounding off the victory.

The last three goals came in the final three minutes with Sochaux’s Martin emulating French legend Zinedine Zidane in scoring a double on his debut.

Blanc, who made 10 changes to the side that performed poorly in the 1-1 Euro 2012 qualifier with Belarus on Friday, was delighted that his reserves had given the senior players something to think about.

“I think that yes, they have given the other players a reminder,” said Blanc.

“The match was still a friendly and nothing was at stake.

“We are in the process of constructing a squad but there has to be competition because if people think that they are sure of being first choice then the squad will not make progress.

“These young players really give it a go, they try things, they are creative and they seized their chance.

“They proved that they are capable of competing for something other than being a substitute. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. We need to see longer term.”

Blanc, who refused to blame goalkeeper and captain for the match Steve Mandanda for his error in the Ukrainian goal, was delighted for Martin making such an impact on his debut.

“I was sure that the comparison would be made,” Blanc said referring to Zidane’s debut.

“I wish him the same career as Zidane had after that but the thing that really pleased me was the overall team performance.

“We were behind but didn’t lose our heads. And those who celebrated their first cap and what is more scored will remember that for the rest of their lives. That is good.”

Martin said that he had not felt any pressure at all.

“From the moment I came on I was put at ease, and encouraged,” said the 23-year-old.

“I came on without any pressure on me, that was a plus, and then I gave it a go and it worked out, I am very happy. It is nothing but happiness, and may it continue.”

France round off their season with another international friendly match on Thursday against the other Euro 2012 hosts Poland.

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