News Live Scores

Finland v France Live Commentary, 16/11/2021

FT
0 - 2
FIN
FRA
K. Benzema (66)
K. Mbappé (76)
Helsingin olympiastadion

Commentary

Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.
France will now begin preparations for the World Cup next year, while Finland will endure the disappointment of missing out on the tournament before the return of the Nations League.
France end their World Cup qualifying campaign on a high note by recording a 2-0 win over Finland, who see their playoff hopes crushed as a result of their defeat. The home side were in position to reach the playoffs before the contest and were looking well placed at half-time with the deadlock yet to be broken both in Helsinki and in Ukraine's match against Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, strikes from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe condemned Finland to defeat, while Ukraine's victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina allowed them to leapfrog Markku Kanerva's men into second place to secure a place in the playoffs.
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: FINLAND 0-2 FRANCE
90' + 2' Valakari cuts inside from the right flank and lines up a strike at goal from distance that is deflected wide of the target by Tchouameni.
90' There will be three minutes of added time.
88' Benzema pounces on a mistake by Vaisanen at he back and feeds Digne on the charge in the left-inside channel. However, he cannot keep the ball in play on the byline.
87' France have been clinical in the second half. Finland have not played badly, but the quality of Benzema and Mbappe has been the difference in the final third.
J. Veretout
A. Rabiot
France
86' Rabiot is withdrawn for the closing stages and is replaced in the France midfield by Veretout.
83' Pukki charges into the left-inside channel and clips a cross into the middle that Digne has to head behind at the back post.
J. Pohjanpalo
D. O'Shaughnessy
Finland
82' O'Shaughnessy is replaced by Pohjanpalo for the closing stages.
O. Valakari
U. Nissilä
Finland
82' Nissila is withdrawn for the home side and is replaced by Valakari.
81' UPDATE! Ukraine now lead Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 through Artem Dovbyk. It appears as though Finland will miss out on the playoffs, bar a late miracle.
80' SAVE! Mbappe almost adds a second goal to his tally for the game. He collects the ball on the edge of the box from Pavard and fires with pace on his right foot. His effort appears to be travelling towards the bottom-left corner before Hradecky sticks out a hand and palms it away.
78' Finland's hopes are now completely in the hands of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If they can find an equaliser against Ukraine the Finns will head through despite their impending defeat.
L. Digne
Assist
France
76' Digne releases the run of Mbappe down the left flank and the forward does the rest with a fine finish.
K. Mbappé
Goal
France
76' GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! MBAPPPE SCORES A STUNNER!!!!!!! 2-0 FRANCE!!!!! Les Bleus take command of the contest as Mbappe bends a sublime strike beyond the reach of Hradecky. He beats Vaisanen for pace down the left flank with ease to burst into the inside channel. He picks his spot on his right boot and finds the bottom-right corner with deadly precision. A special effort from the Paris Saint-German forward.
74' O'Shaughnessy carries the ball forward from the back and launches a cross into the box aiming for Pukki, but he overhits his delivery out for a goal-kick.
R. Taylor
J. Uronen
Finland
73' Taylor enters the action to replace Uronen. Finland add an extra forward onto the field.
71' France have avoided defeat in their last eight matches when scoring the opening goal in the European World Cup qualifiers dating back to 31st August 2017 against Netherlands.
69' Finland have had a terrible 10 minutes. Zinchenko's goal for Ukraine put the pressure on, while Benzema has seemingly put the playoffs out of their reach. The home side now need two goals to restore their position.
M. Guendouzi
A. Griezmann
France
67' Guendouzi replaces Griezmann to shore up the France midfield.
K. Mbappé
Assist
France
66' Mbappe works an offload back to Benzema in the box and the forward finds the back of the net with his deflected strike.
K. Benzema
Goal
France
66' GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! BENZEMA FIRES FRANCE AHEAD!!!! 1-0!!!!! Benzema does make an impact off the bench as he finds the net courtesy of a deflection. The forward collects in space in the left-inside channel and plays a one-two with Mbappe. Benzema latches on to the return before firing at goal. His effort deflects off Vaisanen before travelling past Hradecky. A nightmare for Finland.
M. Forss
R. Schüller
Finland
64' Kanerva reacts to the situation elsewhere in Group D as he sends Forss on to the field to replace Schuller.
61' UPDATE! Conditions on the ground have changed for Finland. Ukraine are now leading Bosnia and Herzegovina through a strike from Oleksandr Zinchenko. As it stands, Ukraine are heading into the playoffs on their basis of their head to head record over Finland.
60' Mbappe tries to break down the left flank, but he gets halted before he can probe further. Finland have done well to keep the forward quiet for the majority of the game.
58' SAVE! Benzema nearly makes a decisive impact two minutes after arriving on the pitch. He latches on to an offload from Digne, but he can only place a tame effort straight at Hradecky.
K. Coman
J. Koundé
France
57' Kounde is withdrawn for the visitors and is replaced by Coman.
K. Benzema
M. Diaby
France
56' A sign that Deschamps is not happy with his team. Benzema enters the action to replace Diaby in the final third.
56' Les Bleus cannot get into the game at the moment. Finland are doing a fine job of retaining possession across the pitch.
54' Finland probe down the right flank through Nissila, but his offload to Uronen on the charge travels out for a goal-kick.
52' Kamara twists and turns on the edge of the France box, but Kounde manages to fend off the midfielder to force him backwards and away from goal.
49' Finland are seeing a lot of the ball in the early stages of the half and are pressing the visitors.
47' Uronen cuts in from the right flank and plays a one-two with Lod. He opens up room to fire at goal on his left foot, but he places his effort wide of the left post.
46' We're back under way in Helsinki.
B. Pavard
L. Dubois
France
46' Dubois is forced off at half-time for the visitors and is replaced by Pavard.
Finland's plan is working as Ukraine's result is falling in their favour at the break. However, circumstances can change in an instant, therefore, Markku Kanerva must ensure that his team are ready to go the distance tonight.
It's goalless at the break in the World Cup qualifying clash between Finland and France in Helsinki. As it stands, the Finns will be heading into the playoffs as Ukraine are being held by Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, the home side's situation could have been even stronger had Leo Vaisanen found the net with his headed effort before the break. Finland have had the better opportunities in the contest, although Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann have placed strikes wide of the target.
45' HALF-TIME: FINLAND 0-0 FRANCE
44' CHANCE! Nissila floats a perfect cross into the box from the left flank that Vaisanen glances towards goal. However, his effort just evades Schuller at the back post and travels agonisingly wide of the target. So close to a breakthrough for the Finns.
43' Dubois tracks back down the left flank for the visitors and pulls up clutching his hamstring as he concedes a corner. A concern for Les Bleus.
41' Nissila is getting through a lot of work on the pitch. He intercepts Digne's pass on the edge of the Finland box before drawing a foul from the France wing-back.
39' Nissila is alert to a mistake from Dubois and intercepts the ball in the France half. He goes for a strike from distance that is deflected wide of the target by Zouma.
38' Pukki tries to clip a pass through for the run of Lod in the final third, but Kounde reads the danger to make the interception for the visitors.
36' Finland are starting to press back at the visitors. It has been a fine effort from the home side against the world champions in the opening 36 minutes, they just have to be more clinical with their opportunities.
34' Pukki gets the wrong side of Upamecano from Schuller's ball over the top, but Lloris scampers off his line to clear ahead of the forward.
33' OVER! Lod and Pukki combine once more in the final third as Les Bleus gift away possession. However, Pukki leans back as he strikes towards goal, lifitng his effort well over the bar.
31' Lod looks to launch a deep cross to the back post from a free-kick from the right flank for O'Shaugnessy to attack. He arcs his delivery high towards his team-mate on the charge, but Lloris makes an early decision to leave his line and claim the ball.
30' SAVE! Lod makes a good run down the left for the hosts and sends a reverse inside for Pukki. The striker turns on to his left foot to fire at goal, but Lloris makes a solid stop to hold the ball.
29' CLOSE! Mbappe is played into space by Griezmann following a mistake by Schuller in the Finland half. The striker pulls the trigger on a right-footed strike that creeps inches past the post. Les Bleus are getting closer.
26' France are targeting Finland down the right flank. Griezmann and Mbappe are making probing runs to unsettle the hosts' rearguard.
25' SAVE AND WIDE! Mbappe drops his shoulder down the right flank to gain half a yard of space before firing at goal from a tight angle. Hradecky palms the ball out into the middle of the penalty area where Dubois finds Griezmann. The forward shoots on the turn, but curls his effort wide of the left post.
22' WIDE! Kamara latches on to a precise offload from Lod and has acres of room on the edge of the France box. The midfielder has options, but he goes for goal himself and slices his right-footed effort well wide of the target.
21' Dubois presses forward down the right flank before working a low ball into the feet of Mbappe, but the forward loses out to Vaisanen on the edge of the Finland box.
20' Uronen does well to track back down the left flank to prevent Tchouameni's cross-field pass from reaching Digne in space. The wing-back calmly nods it back to Hradecky.
20' Kounde tries to send Griezmann down the right-inside channel, but the defender just overhits his throughball out for a goal-kick.
19' Mbappe tries to bustle his way through the Finland defence before attempting to release the run of Diaby, but his offload is intercepted by Ivanov.
16' Diaby is back on his feet and the action resumes.
15' Diaby is down for the visitors after losing out in a challenge with O'Shaughnessy on the edge of the Finland box. It was a fair tackle, but the France forward remains down.
14' Lloris is put under pressure by a poor backpass from Dubois and heads straight into the path of Pukki in the left-inside channe. The forward is forced away from goal and offloads to Nissila. The midfielder aims for Schuller in support, but Tchouameni makes a vital interception.
13' Hamalainen swings a cross into the France box from the left flank for Uronen to attack the back post, but Digne does well under pressure to head clear.
11' WIDE! Digne collects 25 yards from goal and lines up an ambitious drive that trickles harmlessly wide of the right post.
10' Griezmann lifts the resulting free-kick into the box, but the home side manage to clear their lines.
R. Schüller
Yellow Card
Finland
9' Schuller catches Mbappe late on the boot with a challenge and goes into the book. A harsh one on the midfielder in the early stages of the game.
7' Schuller tries to lift a ball over the top of the France defence for the run of Pukki, but the forward strays beyond the last defender Zouma and is caught offside.
5' SAVE! Digne is played into space down the left flank. His first cross is repelled by O'Shaughnessy, but the wing-back gathers the rebound. He offloads towards Diaby in the middle, but can only fire a tame effort at Hradecky.
4' Kamara catches Tchouameni with a late challenge and gives away a free-kick inside the France half.
2' France are looking to get their foot on the ball in the early stages to set a rhythm to their possession game.
1' We're under way in this World Cup qualifying clash.
The players are out on the pitch so we should be under way shortly.
France have made five changes to their side that beat Kazakhstan last time out. Zouma slots into the back three in place of Lucas Hernandez, while Digne ousts Theo Hernandez at left wing-back. Dubois gets the nod on the right flank, while Tchouameni replaces Kante in the middle of the park. Benzema makes way in the final third for Diaby.
Finland have made two changes to their side that beat Bosnia and Herzegovina last time out. Jukka Raitala was dismissed in the contest and has been replaced at wing-back by Uronen. Forss drops out of the side to the bench, which sees Nissila come into the fold in the middle of the park.
FRANCE SUBS: Benjamin Pavard, Clement Lenglet, Jordan Veretout, Wissam Ben Yedder, Kingsley Coman, N’Golo Kante, Benoit Costil, Matteo Guendouzi, Karim Benzema, Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez, Alphonse Areola.
FRANCE (3-4-3): Hugo Lloris, Jules Kounde, Dayot Upamecano, Kurt Zouma; Leo Dubois, Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot, Lucas Digne; Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Moussa Diaby.
FINLAND SUBS: Paulus Arajuuri, Joona Toivio, Miro Tenho, Robert Taylor, Fredrik Jensen, Jesse Joronen, Albin Granlund, Onni Valakari, Marcus Forss, Joel Pohjanpalo, Ilmari Niskanen, Carljohan Eriksson.
FINLAND (3-5-2): Lukas Hradecky; Robert Ivanov, Leo Vaisanen, Daniel O'Shaughnessy; Jere Uronen, Urho Nissila, Rasmus Schuller, Glen Kamara, Niko Hamalainen; Robin Lod, Teemu Pukki.
France sealed their place in the World Cup with an emphatic victory over Kazakhstan last time out. Les Bleus put eight past their opponents as Kylian Mbappe notched four strikes on his own, while Karim Benzema also notched a brace and Adrien Rabiot along with Antoine Griezmann found the net. The world champions look in great shape for the defence of their crown, and Didier Deschamps will still want to test his team. Finland have everything to play for tonight, so it will be a firm examination of Les Bleus’ character to ensure they sign off their campaign with a victory.
Finland face a crucial showdown against France this evening in their bid to qualify for the playoffs. Markku Kanerva’s men took a huge stride towards secure a playoff berth by beating Bosnia and Herzegovina last time out with an outstanding 3-1 victory. As a result, they begin the night with a two-point lead over third-place Ukraine. A point might be enough to secure second place, although a Ukraine victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina could elevate them above Finland. A victory would guarantee a playoff place for the Fins, but it will be a tough ask against Les Bleus.
Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the World Cup qualifying clash between Finland and France at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium.