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1 vs 1
Played
October 16, 2012 8:00 PM BST
Estadio Vicente Calderón — Madrid
Referee:‬ F. Brych‎
Attendance:‬ 46825‎
 
Top of the Match
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema
France
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud
France
Flop of the Match
Juanfran
Juanfran
Spain
Cesc Fàbregas
Cesc Fàbregas
Spain

Spain 1-1 France: Giroud strikes late to earn Deschamps' side vital point

The Arsenal striker's late intervention in a dramatic game saw Les Bleus record a morale-boosting draw in the race for Brazil 2014

By Mohammed Ali

Sergio Ramos - Spain
Getty Images
Spain's hopes of a 25th consecutive win in qualifying were dashed after a last minute goal saw France record a 1-1 draw in an entertaining World Cup qualifying Group I clash at the Vicente Calderon.

The opener came in the 25th minute through Sergio Ramos, who needed two attempts to divert the ball into the net after earlier hitting the bar. Despite French pressure, Cesc Fabregas would see a penalty saved by Hugo Lloris, with France denied an equaliser due to an offside flag.

The visitors stepped up the pressure in the second-half, but despite numerous opportunities, it was not until the 93rd minute in which substitute Olivier Giroud netted to secure a dramatic equaliser.

The world champions started the more adventurous of the two sides, with Jordi Alba causing havoc on the left-wing. France began cautiously having opted for an inexperienced midfield, with Maxime Gonalons handed only his fifth cap ahead of Etienne Capoue.

Nevertheless, it was Vicente del Bosque's men who suffered the first blow. David Silva only lasted 12 minutes before being substituted in favour of Arsenal's Santi Cazorla, with the Manchester City star hobbling down the tunnel.

Didier Deschamps' men quickly slipped into the lull which marked their Euro 2012 exit at the hands of La Roja, and it seemed that history would repeat itself as Andres Iniesta galloped down the flank before a brilliant interjection by the returning Laurent Koscielny inside the box.

It was not long until the hosts took the lead, amidst poor defending from Les Bleus. Xavi's corner was met by Sergio Ramos, who headed against the bar. Pedro's cross back into the danger-zone was parried by Hugo Lloris, before the Real Madrid defender converted to give his side the lead on 25 minutes.

The visitors were in the ascendancy soon after conceding, and almost issued a response nine minutes later. Franck Ribery's simple pass found Karim Benzema in the box, with the striker forcing club team-mate Iker Casillas into a fine low save as Deschamps' side rallied.

Franc saw a goal ruled out five minutes before the break. A brilliant delivery from Yohan Cabaye found Benzema at the far post, with the 24-year-old heading past Casillas, only for the German linesman to rule it out for offside, though replays would suggest otherwise.

Defensive instability came back to haunt the visitors, as Koscielny clattered into Pedro, with referee Felix Brych not hesitating to award a penalty. Up stepped Cesc Fabregas, whose powerful effort was superbly beating away by Lloris. The Tottenham custodian then produced a fantastic double save to deny the former Arsenal man and Pedro just before the interval, as La Roja failed to extend their advantage.

The hosts started the second-half with similar injury concerns after Alvaro Arbeloa was forced off after a challenge by Ribery, with Atletico Madrid's Juanfran replacing the right-back. Though France did improve, creating more frequent attacking forays, they appeared to struggle against the speed of the hosts' passing game.

Ribery was once again in the thick of things, as his fizzing shot from the edge of the box whistled narrowly past Casillas' post, before a tame header was comfortably saved by the keeper.

The visitors were far more enterprising midway through the second period, and were unlucky not to have equalised when Benzema's movement on the left provided a low cross in towards Jeremy Menez, with the Paris Saint-Germain winger unable to connect well with what would have been a tap-in.

The lively Benzema got in behind the Spanish rearguard again after latching on to a fine pass from the midfield, before his cross into Moussa Sissoko at the far post was wastefully fired over by the Toulouse midfielder.

But in the 93rd minute and what was the last move of the game, a speculative cross from Ribery was turned in by substitute Giroud to send the stadium into silence and level the clash.

Spain and France remain locked on seven points ahead of the return in Paris in the New Year. The champions travel to Panama for a friendly in November, with Deschamps' side tackling Italy when qualification resumes in March 2013.


Spain

1
Iker Casillas
Goalkeeper
3.00
17
Arbeloa
Defender
50′
3.00
18
Jordi Alba
Defender
3.50
4
Sergio Ramos
Defender
25′
3.50
16
Busquets
Midfielder
3.00
21
David Silva
Midfielder
13′
2.00
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
42′
3.00
8
3.00
14
Xabi Alonso
Midfielder
3.00
6
Xavi
Midfielder
3.50
7
Pedro
Striker
25′
3.50

France

3.50
25
Hugo Lloris
Goalkeeper
42′
3.00
6
3.00
26
2.50
17
3.00
3
3.00
14
Blaise Matuidi
Midfielder
3.50
7
Franck Ribéry
Midfielder
94′
3.00
7
Jérémy Menez
Midfielder
68′
3.00
21
3.00
6
Yohan Cabaye
Midfielder
3.50
9

Substitutes

25
Pepe Reina
Goalkeeper
 - 
1
 - 
33
 - 
20
Juanfran
Midfielder
50′ 92′
2.00
17
Monreal
Defender
 - 
7
Beñat
Midfielder
 - 
19
Santi Cazorla
Midfielder
13′
3.00
8
Javi Martínez
Midfielder
 - 
15
 - 
9
 - 
9
3.00
9
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
-
 - 
30
Steve Mandanda
Goalkeeper
 - 
4
Adil Rami
Defender
 - 
26
 - 
22
Gael Clichy
Defender
 - 
15
Etienne Capoue
Midfielder
3.00
7
Moussa Sissoko
Midfielder
68′
3.50
28
 - 
18
4.00
12

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Red Card
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  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
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Results
Group A Matchday 4
Times In BST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Manchester United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0