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0 vs 1
Played
September 7, 2012 7:30 PM BST
Helsingin olympiastadion — Helsinki (Helsingfors)
Referee:‬ C. Thomson‎
Attendance:‬ 35111‎
 
 
A. Diaby 20′
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Finland 0-1 France

Goal.com was on hand to cast a critical eye over all the players who featured in the 2014 World Cup qualifier in Helsinki

By Robin Bairner

  • Lucas Hradecky
    19
    1
    3.00

    Lucas Hradecky

    Had no chance with the opening goal of the game, but would otherwise have been pleased with his efforts. Was not tested as regularly as he might have expected but saved particularly well from Cabaye in the second period.

  • Kari Arkivou
    7
    12
    1.00

    Kari Arkivou Flop of the Match

    Had some trouble on an individual basis dealing with the tricks of Ribery, and was beaten on numerous occasions by the Bayern Munich man. He was lucky the winger did not cause more damage.

  • Niklas Moisander
    17
    1
    2.50

    Niklas Moisander

    Left exposed by a charging run through the centre of the goal that no one seemed keen to deal with, but generally enjoyed quite a solid game at the heart of the Finnish defence.

  • Alexander Ring
    13
    3
    3.00

    Alexander Ring

    The promising midfielder was not really able to impose himself on this encounter and was hindered by a first-half knock. Started to offer more in the second period and came to the fore as the visitors rallied.

  • Kasper Hamalainen
    15
    1
    2.50

    Kasper Hamalainen

    The outstanding player for the home side in the early stages, he burst through the centre of the French defence in the first-half with some smart movement, but was denied a goal by a fine recovery challenge from Yanga-Mbiwa. Went off with 10 minutes left.

  • Markus Halsti
    6
    6
    2.00

    Markus Halsti

    The right flank of the Finnish defence was the more secure, but when France did attack this area, they tended to use the ball a little better, perhaps giving the impression the left-back had a weaker game than he did. Booked for a first-half foul.

  • Perparim Hetemaj
    25
    0
    3.50

    Perparim Hetemaj

    Showed himself to have good feet when given time, working space well to find Hamalainen at one point in the first period. Started a fine move after the break but was immediately withdrawn in the aftermath. Finland could have used his craft late on.

  • Roman Eremenko
    11
    6
    3.00

    Roman Eremenko

    Much was expected of the Rubin Kazan midfielder as his side’s most seasoned attacking influence, but though he showed a good range of passing, he was unable to have a decisive say in this game.

  • Tim Sparv
    7
    6
    2.50

    Tim Sparv

    The holding midfielder had a frustrating night as he was not able to win a great deal of possession from the French and seemed to be a step late in everything he did. As such, he was booked for a late challenge on Menez in the second period. Nearly levelled with a late header.

  • Teemu Pukki
    7
    9
    2.00

    Teemu Pukki

    Was expected to be one of the more advanced players for the hosts, but though he showed some promise, this was never realised. Missed several good chances.

Substitutions

  • Petri Pasanen
    9
    2
    1.50

    Petri Pasanen

    Competed well in the heart of the defence, although was another to be caught napping as France opened the scoring. Was certainly the weaker of the two centre-backs and was picked on by the visiting forwards.

  • Alexei Jr. Eremenko
    14
    0
    3.00

    Alexei Jr. Eremenko

    Introduced in the second period and immediately showed the kind of invention that unsettled the visiting rearguard.

  • Hugo Lloris
    25
    4
    3.00

    Hugo Lloris

    Had to be quick from his line on a couple of occasions to mop up dangerous through passes, but the new Tottenham signing was barely tested throughout this encounter. Made a fine reaction save towards the end as France came under belated pressure.

  • Anthony Réveillère
    15
    6
    2.50

    Anthony Réveillère

    Only a failed medical prevented the right-back from moving to PSG this summer, but the Lyon man enjoyed a fine performance down his channel. He got forward sensibly and effectively, troubling the Finland defence when he did attack. Made one vital block from Pukki in the second -half.

  • Mamadou Sakho
    33
    7
    4.00

    Mamadou Sakho

    Got caught playing a poor offside trap in the first-half and required his central defensive colleague to make a terrific intervention. Was fearsome in the challenge throughout and offered a no-nonsense approach.

  • Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
    51
    5
    4.50

    Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

    Dug out Sakho on more than one occasion, using his pace and last-ditch tackling ability to prevent his team-mate making a potentially critical error. Was physically imposing and dominated the centre of the rearguard.

  • Patrice Evra
    20
    17
    3.00

    Patrice Evra

    Always looked to attack down the left flank, but rarely did so with any great potency. Was a solid performer for les Bleus, doubtless aware that with Ribery in front of him he could not adopt a gung-ho attitude.

  • A. Diaby
    145
    7
    4.50

    A. Diaby Top of the Match

    A player previous boss Blanc wanted to use more extensively but could not due to his injuries, and he showed his class in this encounter. Provided dynamism by getting beyond Benzema for the opening goal and was a physical beast in the centre of the field, using the ball wisely too.

  • Franck Ribéry
    23
    10
    2.50

    Franck Ribéry

    Managed to beat his man in one-on-one situations on several occasions, though the winger’s use of the ball and decision making for his country is still lacking. On occasions he was not helped by a lack of bodies in the box. Took a number of kicks.

  • Jérémy Menez
    15
    15
    2.00

    Jérémy Menez

    A hit-or-miss performer, the PSG winger struggled to exert much of an attacking threat during this match. Was effectively policed down the right flank and was replaced by Valbuena.

  • Rio Antonio Mavuba
    16
    10
    3.00

    Rio Antonio Mavuba

    Has started the season in strong form with Lille and played an important role in front of the French defence on this occasion. Stopped several attacks with his reading of the game and rarely gifted away possession.

  • Yohan Cabaye
    20
    12
    1.50

    Yohan Cabaye

    Perhaps the least active of the French central three, the Newcastle man nevertheless delivered some excellent set pieces and would not be caught napping in possession. Drew the home goalkeeper into a fine save with a shot from range. Withdrawn in the second-half.

  • Karim Benzema
    45
    11
    3.00

    Karim Benzema

    Created the opening goal with some wonderful skill in the middle of the field and then a slick defence-splitting pass. Was willing to shoot on sight but never really caught one of his openings properly. Used possession smartly.

Substitutions

  • Blaise Matuidi
    15
    11
    2.00

    Blaise Matuidi

    Came on with less than 20 minutes remaining to add energy to the ailing France midfield and lasted approximately 60 seconds before being booked.

  • Mathieu Valbuena
    13
    11
    2.00

    Mathieu Valbuena

    Came on for Menez but was slack in possession and was some distance from his best.

Results
Group A Matchday 1
Times In BST
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man Utd.
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0