2 - 1

WC Qualification Europe
10 October 2017
Game week
2 - 1
2 - 1


A. Griezmann (G) 27' (assist by: B. Matuidi)
1 - 0
O. Giroud (G) 33'
2 - 0
2 - 1
44' A. Saroka (G) (assist by: Y. Kovalev)


Minute   Description
It wasn't the best of performances from France, but they nonetheless did enough to leave the Stade de France with a victory that has sent them into next year's World Cup. They impressed at the start of the game and deservedly went 2-0 up thanks to goals from Griezmann and Giroud, but from then onwards they looked slightly lacklustre and failed to cause too many problems for the Belarus back line.
90'+3 What a chance for Saroka to equalise with the last kick of the game! Volodka flies into the left-hand side of the France box before squaring a dangerous pass across the face of goal, where Saroka sticks out a foot and meets the ball but can only send his first-time strike just wide of the near post.
90'+2 Belarus are presented with a late opportunity to launch a throw-in into the France penalty area. The ball into the box is a good one and bounces around dangerously, but, despite their best efforts, nobody can quite get a shot underway and the home side are able to hold on.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
89' Mbappe holds up the ball on the edge of the Belarus penalty area and spins before teeing up Payet to shoot, but the latter's effort is underhit and bounces safely into the hands of Chernik at the far post.
87' An attempted Belarus attack over on the left wing fails to come to anything and allows the hosts to counter quickly, but they're unable to find much joy as Maksim Volodko cynically handles the ball to stop Tolisso from picking out Mbappe, resulting in a yellow card for the defender.
86' Digne receives the ball just outside of the Belarus box over on the left flank and quickly tries to unleash a cross, but the ball is poked behind for a corner before he can. The set-piece is sent short and worked over to Sissoko, who tries to test Chernik from 25 yards out but fires his long-range strike high and wide of the goal.
84' Belarus aren't able to carve out a chance on goal from the set-piece, and once again it's realtively easily dealt with by the home side, who then try to break away on yet another attacking move down the right wing.
83' Sidibe catches Stasevich with a wild sliding challenge over on the right flank and sends the forward crashing to the ground, resulting in a free-kick for Belarus and a yellow card for the defender.
France have made their third and final alteration, with Dimitri Payet coming on to replace Lemar.
82' France seem relatively happy with their one-goal lead, and they're now concentrating on holding onto possession inside the Belarus half of the pitch. The visitors have struggled to find much joy over the last 10 minutes or so, and the game is quickly getting away from them.
80' Lovely quick feet from Mbappe sees him evade a tackle midway inside the Belarus half of the pitch before teeing up Digne over on the left wing. The full-back then whips a dangerous cross into the box, where Sissoko is just about able to reach the ball but can't make decent contact with it.
79' Meanwhile, Korzun has made way for Artem Bykov.
78' France have made a slightly defence-minded switch, with Moussa Sissoko coming on to replace Griezmann.
76' And now Mbappe goes down inside the box! Another excellent run from the substitute sees him sprint into the penalty area before taking on Chernik, who sticks out his arms and sees to make slight contact with Mbappe. The forward immediately appeals to the referee, but the man in charge shakes his head and allows play to resume with a Belarus goal-kick.
74' Almost a chance for Giroud! Mbappe darts down the right wing on a wonderful run before cutting inside and firing a well-placed cross into the heart of the penalty area. It looks set to find Giroud in front of goal, but the striker ends up losing his footing at the vital moment. He immediately appeals for a penalty, but the referee isn't at all interested and waves play on.
72' Matuidi picks up the ball midway inside the Belarus half of the pitch and tries to muscle his way through a sea of white shirts, but Matveichyk is there to dispossess the midfielder with a well-timed tackle before winning his side a free-kick.
70' Mbappe gets himself into a good position just outside of the Belarus box after skipping away from his marker. He then manages to get a shot away, but it isn't hit well enough to trouble Chernik and curls straight into the goalkeeper's hands.
69' France are seeing more of the ball now that they're back on the front foot, but they're struggling to cause many problems for the Belarus defence. They haven't performed particularly well since the break, and it's making life pretty comfortable for their visitors.
67' The ball pinballs dangerously on the edge of the France box and almost falls kindly for Saroka, who tries to unleash a volleyed strike from 20 yards out but is barged off the ball before he's able to do so. The home side aren't looking entirely comfortable at the back...
65' Belarus have made their second alteration of the night, with Kovalev making way for Maksim Skavysh.
64' What a miss by Saroka! The Belarus striker is left all alone in front of goal after the France back line are caught out at the back, but, somehow, he ends up poking his close-range shot just wide of the near post. He really should have buried that golden opportunity!
63' Belarus win themselves another free-kick out wide, but once again Stasevich's cross in is a poor one. It manages to bounce over to Korzun, however, and the midfielder unleashes a thumping strike that fails to trouble Lloris.
62' A huge roar erupts around the stadium as Kylian Mbappe comes on to replace Coman.
61' The visitors continue putting pressure on the home side after France are unable to fully clear the danger. The ball eventually finds its way over to Politsevich, who quickly shoots from 30 yards out but sends his audacious effort high over the top of the crossbar.
59' Belarus push forward on another decent attacking move and are able to win themselves a free-kick over on the left flank. It's fired in low by Stasevich, but the forward's cross into the box fails to pick out a team-mate and is blasted away for a throw-in.
57' France move the ball around nicely before Digne manages to swing in a cross from deep down the left wing, but it's sent slightly too near to Chernik and the goalkeeper is easily able to gather the ball under very little pressure.
55' Coman cuts inside from the right flank as he embarks on a clever run. He then tries to pick out Griezmann on the edge of the Belarus box, but Sergey Politsevich is just about able to cut out the danger at the vital moment.
53' Matveichyk catches Tolisso with a late challenge in the middle of the pitch, leaving the referee with no choice but to show him a yellow card.
52' Kovalev twists and turns over on the right-hand side of the France box as he tries to find a way through on goal, but Umtiti sticks with the winger dilligently and denies him a way towards the near post.
50' Giroud rushes through the middle of the Belarus defence and manages to latch onto a lofted pass forward from Lemar, but his run into the penalty area is slightly mistimed and the linesman's flag is raised as soon as he makes contact with the ball.
48' Belarus enjoy a decent start to the second half as they quickly put the France back line under pressure. A deep cross in from the right wing fails to find a white shirt inside the box but bounces out to Stasevich, who immediately unleashes a shot but can't hit the target with his 20-yard effort.
46' Belarus have made one substitution during the half-time break, with Aleksey Yanushkevich making way for Aleksandr Sachivko.
We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
France were comfortably on top for most of the first half, but they weren't quite able to hold onto their two-goal lead and allowed Belarus to get back into the game with a late goal of their own. Les Bleus have bossed possession and caused all sorts of problems for the visitors, but they desperately need to find another goal if they're to avoid conceding what would be, under the current circumstances, a disastrous equaliser against the run of play.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be just one minute of added time.
44' That was really good play by Belarus to score a well-worked goal, but France were far too sloppy at the back. Digne should have done much better when trying to deal with Kovalev, while Varane was far too slow in the middle of the box.
GOAL! Belarus have pulled one back! Kovalev is easily able to get the better of Digne deep down the right wing before firing a great cross into the middle of the box, where Saroka skips in front of Varane and side-foots the ball into the back of the net with a wonderful first-time finish.
43' Thumping strike by Saroka! Umtiti isn't able to fully clear the danger from the edge of the France penalty area and nods the ball out to Saroka, who immediately unleashes a brilliant volley that flies just a yard or two over the top of the crossbar.
42' Clever play from Griezmann sees the Atletico Madrid forward set up Tolisso with a well-weighted pass, but the latter can't find the back of the net with his first-time strike and instead sends it straight into the hands of Chernik in the middle of the goal.
41' Stasevich twists and turns deep down the left flank as he tries to find a way into the hosts' box, but Sidibe sticks with him well and knocks the ball behind for another corner that fails to cause too many problems for France.
39' Anton Saroka, who has barely seen any of the ball so far, rushes into the left-hand side of the France penalty area and manages to get a shot away, but it's well defended by Umtiti and bounces behind for a corner. Stasevich then curls a cross into the middle of the box from the set-piece, and it's one that's easily caught by Lloris under very little pressure.
37' The visitors are finally able to push forward on a rare foray into the Belarus half of the pitch after winning the ball back from the determined home side, but Igor Stasevich can't get the better of Lloris with his tame effort from 25 yards out.
35' Belarus are really struggling to spend much time on the ball at the moment, as France are comfortably managing to boss possession deep inside the visitors' half of the pitch. They really need to enjoy a lengthy spell on the ball to help relieve some of the pressure they're experiencing.
33' GOAL! 2-0 to France! Terrible defending by Belarus sends the ball straight into the feet of Griezmann just outside of the box. He quickly sends it back into the penalty area, where Giroud puts the two centre-backs under pressure and ends up poking a deflected shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
31' Lovely, quick play between Giroud and Griezmann on the edge of the visitors' penalty area sets up the latter to poke a pass through to Djibril Sidibe, who looks set to test Chernik but is beaten to the ball at the vital moment.
29' Griezmann makes a nuisance of himself over on the left-hand side of the Belarus box as France push forward once again. This time he spins and picks out Corentin Tolisso with a chipped cross, and the midfielder then unleashes a thumping volley that sails high over the top of the crossbar.
27' That really was a very well-placed pass from Matuidi, who did brilliantly to pick out Griezmann inside the box. The visitors have largely defended well in central positions but left slightly too much space available there.
GOAL! Antoine Griezmann fires France into the lead! It's been comming for quite some time, and the home side finally have their opening goal. Matuidi breaks through the middle of the pitch on a great run and then pokes a clever pass into the penalty area, where Griezmann peels away from his marker before beating Chernik with a brilliant low strike.
26' The referee's yellow card is out for the first time this evening, and it's Korzun who finds himself on the receiving end after cynically dragging back Lemar as the Monaco man tried to counter quickly.
25' Another France corner causes all sorts of problems for Belarus, who are really struggling to deal with the height and power of the home side. This time it's Samuel Umtiti who rises high and gets a head on the ball, but he can't hit the target with his slightly wayward effort.
23' France continue dominating possession as they keep Belarus pegged back inside their own half of the pitch. Digne then tries to find a way into the penalty area from deep down the left wing, but he's well marshalled by Matveichyk and isn't able to do so.
21' Giroud hits the crossbar! Coman twists and turns over on the right flank before swinging a lovely cross right onto the head of Giroud. The striker rises high and does really well to send a bullet header towards goal, where it smashes off the woodwork after leaving Chernik rooted to the spot.
19' Another chance for Varane! Once again, France cause all sorts of problems for their opponents with another dangerous cross into the penalty area. Varane rises high and manages to get his head on the ball in front of goal, but this time his downward header bounces just wide of the near post.
18' Raphael Varane goes close! The resulting set-piece isn't dealt with at all well by the Belarus defenders and falls to Varane, who pulls off a close-range header that flies towards the roof of the net but is just about tipped over the crossbar by Chernik.
17' Lemar makes a clever run into the left-hand side of the visitors' penalty area and manages to latch onto a through-ball from Digne. He then tries to fizz a pass across the face of goal towards Giroud, but it's well defended and deflects behind for a corner.
15' Digne is once again left in a pocket of space over on the left wing and this time manages to pick out Giroud in the heart of the Belarus box. The striker rises high and gets the better of his marker, but he can't beat Chernik with a slightly tame headed effort.
13' More good play by Belarus sees them knock the ball around nicely deep inside the France half of the pitch. Siarhei Matveichyk then tries to pick out a team-mate with a deep cross over to the far post, but it's overhit by the full-back and sails behind for a goal-kick.
11' An attempted France attacking move fails to result in a chance on goal and allows Belarus to counter-attack quickly over on the right wing, but Nikita Korzun can't find a way past Lemar and has to settle for a throw-in.
9' Yuri Kovalev goes close! The winger makes a great run in front of the right flank after easily getting the better of his marker. He then unleashes a thumping low shot, and it's one that flies just wide of the far post after getting the better of Hugo Lloris.
7' A deep cross from Kingsley Coman can't reach Giroud in front of goal, but Digne picks up the ball over on the left wing. He quickly pokes it forward to Blaise Matuidi and sets up the midfielder to unleash a cross of his own, but it deflects off a white shirt and into the hands of Chernik at the near post.
5' France push forward once again as they keep putting early pressure on their visitors. Lucas Digne does well to get himself into a good position out wide and then swings a curling cross into the penalty area, but it's overhit and fails to pick out a team-mate.
3' Almost an early chance for Olivier Giroud! A lovely through-ball from Thomas Lemar cuts the Belarus back line in two and rolls into the path of Giroud inside the Belarus box, but Sergey Chernik is just about able to get to the pass ahead of the striker before the linesman's flag is eventually raised for offside.
1' We're off! Belarus get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Belarus boss Igor Kriushenko has made four alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Alexei Rios, Ivan Maevski, Siarhei Balanovich and Nikolay Signevich making way for Siarhei Matveichyk, Nikita Korzun, Yuri Kovalev and Anton Saroka.
Didier Deschamps has decided to make three changes to the France side that started the 1-0 win against Bulgaria on the weekend, with Kingsley Coman, Thomas Lemar and Olivier Giroud coming into the starting line-up to replace N’Golo Kante, Kylian Mbappe and Alexandre Lacazette, respectively.
Belarus substitutes: Gutor, Bykov, Evdokimov, Olekhnovich, Gavrilovich, Burko, Sachivko, Skavysh, Ignatovich.
Belarus XI (4-3-3): Chernik; Matveichyk, Yanushkevich, Politsevich, Volodko; Dragun, Karnitskiy, Korzun; Kovalev, Saroka, Stasevich.
France substitutes: Jallet, Amavi, Payet, Mbappe, Thauvin, Rabiot, Mandanda, Sissoko, Lacazette, Rami, Kimpembe, Areola.
France XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Sidibe, Varane, Umtiti, Digne; Tolisso, Matuidi; Coman, Griezmann, Lemar; Giroud.
There’s just under 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Another defeat today would leave Belarus with their second-lowest World Cup qualification points tally since gaining independence from the Soviet Union, and it’s a result that should go France’s way if the home side are at their best. Les Bleus have only been beaten by their opponents on one previous occasion, with the last meeting between the two on French soil ending in a relatively comfortable 3-1 win for the hosts.
Belarus will be hoping for a repeat of last September’s meeting between the two sides as they attempt to end the qualifying campaign on a high. It’s been a difficult year or so for the White Wings, who head into this evening’s clash on the back of three consecutive defeats, one of which they suffered at the hands of minnows Luxembourg in one of their worst losses of the last decade.
Sweden are the only side to have enjoyed victory against France, who have largely impressed during qualifying but suffered a couple of frustrating draws. Belarus did well to pick up a point against Les Bleus the last time the two sides met back in the opening game, before Didier Deschamps’ men came again unstuck against a stubborn Luxembourg team last month.
The job isn’t quite done for France, who head into tonight’s game guaranteed at least a spot in the play-offs but with the opportunity to head straight to next year’s tournament as the winners of Group A. They currently lead the way with 20 points but have Sweden sitting just one point behind them in second place, meaning a seventh win of the campaign will be enough to send them straight to Russia.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s World Cup 2018 qualifier between France and Belarus at the Stade de France.


H. Lloris
S. Dragun
S. Matveichyk
R. Varane
A. Yanushkevich
S. Umtiti
M. Volodko
S. Politsevich
C. Tolisso
A. Griezmann
T. Lemar
O. Giroud
I. Stasevich
A. Saroka
Y. Kovalev
K. Coman
S. Chernik
A. Karnitskiy
B. Matuidi
N. Korzun
L. Digne
D. Sidibé

Additional info

H. Özkahya
C. Satman
E. Kan
Fourth official
A. Palabiyik

Match Stats

France Belarus
59 Attacks (Dangerous) 31
6 Corners 2
11 Fouls 13
16 Free Kicks 14
11 Goal Kicks 14
3 Offsides 3
0 Shots (blocked) 0
5 Shots (off target) 7
4 Shots (on target) 1
2 Shots (woodwork) 0
14 Throw Ins 23

Stade de France

Stade de France