Friday June 15, 2012 Group Stage: Group D Finished Donbass Arena

Ukraine 0 - 2 France

  • Menez 53’
  • Cabaye 56’

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  1. France keep calm in storm to down Ukraine

    France keep calm in storm to down Ukraine

    France did not let a thunderstorm affect them as they secured a 2-0 Group D win over Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine in Donetsk. More

  • Live Commentary

    • Ukraine
    • France
    • 90+3' All over then! A 2-0 win for France who go top of Group D before England host Sweden. A decent performance from the French. Comfortable winners.
    • 89' We are into three minutes of time added on....
    • 88' The French can keep their goal clean for the 10th time at the European Championship. If they do, they become the fifth team with at least 10 clean sheets: Netherlands (15), Italy (14), Germany (14) and Portugal (10).
    • 87' M'Vila concedes a free-kick for a foul on Devic. Won't matter much. France destined for a 2-0 win it seems.
    • 86' Nasri decides to try his luck. Whacks the shot at goal, but Pyatov is on hand to punch the ball away.
    • 85' Tymoshchuk is penalised for a foul on Martin. And out comes the yellow card for him.
    • 84' Devic taken out by Clichy with a late challenge. Lloris then off his line to punch clear Alyev's free-kick.
    • 83' This could be the first time a host country loses a European Championship match by a margin of more than one goal since Belgium lost 2-0 to Turkey at Euro 2000.
    • 82' Ribery dinks a cute little ball into the centre of the opposition box, but nobody there to convert with a header.
    • 81' Alyev swipes the ball over the bar. Disappointment on a night of such emotion for Ukraine, who must beat England in their final match to be certain of the last eight.
    • 80' Mexes catches Milevsky some 25 yards from goal. This is a real chance for Ukraine to give themselves a lifeline.
    • 79' Giroud blazes an effort miles over the bar. The French fans can see the funny side of that effort.
    • 78' Konoplyanka brought down by Debuchy. A bit unnecessary, but the France man is in the book.
    • 77' So France can settle back and enjoy the England match against Sweden knowing they have done their job for this evening. They conclude their Group D campaign against Sweden on Tuesday.
    • 76' France have been the more assured side. More shots at goals, more goals and more possession. The stats sometimes lie, but not here.
    • 75' Benzema takes his time in departing the action to be replaced by Olivier Giroud. Cue a few more boos then from Ukraine fans.
    • 74' France breaking up the play in the middle of the park. A few boos from the home fans, who are not best pleased. Don't know why to be honest.
    • 73' For the third time at Euro 2012 a team scored twice in four minutes: Russia against Czech Republic, Czech Republic against Greece and now France against Ukraine.
    • 72' Off goes Menez to be replaced by Marvin Martin.
    • 71' Ribery clatters the shot at goal, but just over the bar. Not a bad effort. It remains 2-0.
    • 70' Ribery bundled over by Khacheridi on the edge of the Ukraine box. Free-kick chance here to seal the deal for France.
    • 69' Aliyev comes on for Yarmolenko, who will have better matches in his life.
    • 68' Cabaye departs to be replaced by M'Vila.
    • 67' Yarmolenko keen to get the ball back to his left foot and ends up prodding the shot wide. Disappointing end to that move.
    • 66' Yohan Cabaye scored France’s 17th goal by midfielders at the European Championships/World Cup this century. That is more than the number of goals scored by the French forwards, who now have 16.
    • 65' Brilliant effort from Cabaye as his shot comes back off a post. That deserved a goal. Glorious possession play from France.
    • 64' Ukraine been given a bit of a chasing here. Ribery takes a tumble off the ball. Superb stuff from France to keep the ball.
    • 63' France come up with a corner here. Play it short. Those two goals have really relaxed France, who are on the cusp of going a 23rd match unbeaten.
    • 62' Ribery slides the ball to Benzema, but he drags the shot straight into the arms of the grateful Pyatov.
    • 61' Change then for Ukraine as Milevskiy replaces Nazarenko. Long way back for the Ukraine from here.
    • 60' France will head to the top of Group D before England face Sweden. At least England know what they have to do. A win over Sweden will leave the Swedes heading for the exit door.
    • 59' France score more than one goal in a European Championship/World Cup match for the first time since they beat Spain 3-1 in the last 16 of the 2006 World Cup.
    • 58' The Newcastle United midfielder scores his first goal for France in 15 games. France beginning to cut loose here.
    • 57' GOAL! Cabaye drives a shot low beyond Pyatov. Lovely move from the French. Great control from Benzema's pass and France lead 2-0 here.
    • 56' Selin has been booked for a late challenge on Rami. Selin sporting some sort of haircut you would see from the 1980s. A solitary narrow ponytail. Some weave.
    • 55' France finally come to the party. They lead 1-0. Ukraine need to find a way back into this match. Came from behind to beat Sweden the other night.
    • 54' GOAL! Menez finally comes up the goal that he has been seeking. Comes inside Selin before thumping the shot low and hard beyond Pyatov.
    • 53' Ukraine are two teams within a team. Look menacing going forward, but fragile at the back.
    • 52' Tymoshchuk tries his own shot at the French goal, but this time the ball flies to the other side of the French goal. Ukraine looking very positive.
    • 51' Shevchenko drives a shot inches wide of goal from 25 yards out. Brilliant effort, but the ball misses the target. Would have brought the house down there.
    • 50' Menez dances into the French box. Gets the shot at goal, but straight at Lloris. Comfortable enough stop.
    • 49' Gusev delays and delays his pass until Shevchenko is deemed to be offside. 'Sheva' not best pleased about that.
    • 48' Menez tries to pick out Ribery in the middle, but Khacheridi is there to make the clearance.
    • 47' Dević replaces Voronin for Ukraine. Voronin was doing little in that first half.
    • 46' Ukraine get the second half kicked off. Thankfully less dank in Donetsk. Let us hope we can get this match finish.
    • 45+1' There goes the whistle for the break. 0-0 at half-time. Menez very fortunate to still be on the park. Could easily have walked for that one.
    • 44' Going to be one minute added to the first half. Menez brings down Selin. Should have been a second yellow card and a red card.
    • 43' Benzema with a hopeful ball into the heart of the Ukraine area, but Selin wallops it out of his box.
    • 42' Jérémy Menez has received France's first card at Euro 2012. Ukraine is the only team left that have not received a card yet.
    • 41' Benzema penalised for a handling offence. Looks like this may be 0-0 at the break.
    • 40' Shevchenko takes a tumble under pressure from Menez, who has been booked for that challenge. Menez has enjoyed better first periods.
    • 39' Pyatov dives to claw out Mexes's header from Nasri's free-kick. Fine diving stop to prevent Ukraine from falling behind.
    • 38' Gusev clatters Ribery to concede a free-kick just outwith the Ukraine area. Chance to pile in the bigger men.
    • 37' Nazarenko fires in a corner. Ball cleared by Mexes before Mexes heads clear Nazarenko's second corner. Ukraine handling themselves well so far.
    • 36' Benzema seems to be playing the role of lone striker. He is caught offside after setting off too soon.
    • 35' Chance for Shevchenko as he raced in behind Rami. Brilliant movement. Fine shot, but Lloris stood tall to make the block. Only the angle against Shevchenko there.
    • 34' Konoplyanka leans back and lifts a shot miles over the bar from outside the French box. Skies looking a lot more pleasant overhead.
    • 32' Gusev seems to take out Ribery with a late tackle, but the referee doesn't agree and the Ukraine are awarded a goalkick.
    • 31' The England match is due to get off and running at 8pm in Kiev due to the delay in this match because of the thunderstorm.
    • 30' Of all goalkeepers that have played at Euro 2012, Hugo Lloris is the only one without a save.
    • 29' Timoshchuk giving the ball away needlessly in the Ukraine midfield and almost paying the price, but we remain at 0-0.
    • 28' Pyatov saves from Menez. Another poor finish from him after Ribery had raced into the box. Menez wasteful so far.
    • 27' Benzema whacks an effort at goal, but lacked the power as the ball trundles into the arms of Pyatov in the Ukraine goal.
    • 26' Menez with another chance to break the deadlock from just inside the opposition area, but he lifts his shot over the bar. Decent run by Ribery.
    • 25' Andri Shevchenko can score in two consecutive matches at the finals, something he also achieved at World Cup 2006, when he scored against Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
    • 24' Yarmolenko clips a shot wide of the goal from outside of the French area. Decent effort, but didn't have the direction on the shot.
    • 23' Yevhen Konoplyanka tries to dash beyond Mathieu Debuchy, but the right-back is on hand to make the clearance.
    • 22' Shevchenko slides a hopeful ball into the middle of the box, but Mexes takes no chances as he thumps the ball away from the French goal.
    • 21' Clichy linking up well wih Benzema down the left-hand side before Clichy is robbed of the ball.
    • 20' A draw for England in this match wouldn't be a bad result providiing they can beat Sweden later on. France forcing Ukraine back on every occasion.
    • 19' France haven't lost any of their last 22 games, the longest unbeaten run among the 16 teams taking part in the finals.
    • 18' Karim Benzema has fired seven shots on goal at these finals, together with Andrés Iniesta, the most of all players. He looks like being the main threat to Ukraine this evening.
    • 17' Menez gallops on to a pass from Ribery to slot the ball into the net, but he is miles offside. Poor play really. Should have read that a lot better.
    • 16' There is a massive roar from these Ukraine fans every time their side gets on the ball.
    • 15' Looks like the players have dried out somewhat in Donetsk. France pick up, but Benzema can't get on the end of Clichy's delivery.
    • 14' Nazarenko with a cynical body challenge on Debuchy. Fortunate to avoid a yellow card for that one. No intention of playing the ball.
    • 13' Yarmolenko takes a tumble under pressure from Clichy. Didn't seem to be much in that challenge. Gusev with a cross that is headed clear.
    • 12' Benzema caught offside from Nasri's quick free-kick. Looked to be onside. France certainly looking the likelier side.
    • 11' Diarra can't get on the end of Nasri's delivery. Just too high. Ukraine fans slowly but surely returning to their seats.
    • 10' Nasri slides the ball to Benzema, but he can't get the ball out between his feet to get the shot in. Ukraine clear. France win a corner seconds later.
    • 9' Ukraine trying to become the first country to win both their first two matches ever at the European Championships since Croatia in 1996.
    • 8' Gusev clatters into a strong challenge on Ribery. Wasn't hanging around with that tackle.
    • 7' Nice piece of play by Benzema as he thumps a shot at goal from distance. Easy enough take for Pyatov in the Ukraine goal.
    • 6' France knock the ball back to Ukraine. Very nice of them, and we are off and running again.
    • 18.00 Bit of a drying off period in the dressing room as the French players race on to the park. Ukraine rejoin them. Almost ready to go then.
    • 17.55 Some matches that have been temporarily suspended at major tournaments: Argentina-Brazil at Confederations Cup 2005 and West Germany-Poland at World Cup in 1974 (both in Frankfurt).
    • 17.45 We are hearing that the game between France and Ukraine will start at 6pm. Fingers crossed then.
    • 17:29 There is going to be a decision taken by 6pm (BST) on whether this match can be played tonight at a sodden Donbass Arena. Pitch is apparently under a lot of water. Looking at 6.15pm or 6.30pm before this match can start again. If it can start again.
    • - The match is currently suspended due to extreme weather conditions. They will replay the match tomorrow afternoon if they can't get play this evening.
    • - Will let you know what the story is as soon as we get it. We are in the middle of a storm. Some spectators urged to take shelter in the stadium.
    • 5' Thunder and lightning is circulating the stadium, and the referee has decided to take off the teams. The match has been suspended.
    • 4' Nasri tries to play the ball through for Menez, but Pyatov is off his line to clear the danger. Solid goalkeeping.
    • 3' Mexes goes all the way back to Lloris, who scrambles the ball away. Not the wisest choice in this rain. A real downpour.
    • 2' France won the last meeting between these two teams 4-1 in a friendly in 2011. Ukrainian captian Anatoli Timoshchuk opened the score before Kevin Gameiro, Marvin Martin (2 goals) and Younes Kaboul secured the win for France.
    • 1' France get the action off and running. The rain smashes off the turf. Ukraine will be the first country through to the last eight with a win.
    • 16.55 Timoshchuk making a few signals to Bayern Munich team-mate Ribery in the tunnel. A spot of rain in Donetsk, but Laurent Blanc remains without suit jacket as some thunder and lightning hits the skies overhead. Oleg Blokhin is decidiing not to bother with the singing of his national anthem. Fair play. Have to call it as you see it.
    • 16.50 Odds ahead of this one if you fancy a punt: Ukraine 3/1, France Evens, Draw 9/4..Ukraine look quite good at 3/1.
    • 16.45 France’s starting XI has an average age of exactly 27 years. That is their third youngest in a match at the Euro’s, they were only younger in their two matches at Euro 1960. The French are on a four-match winless streak at the Euros. France’s last win came on 21 Jun 2004 vs Switzerland (1-3). Only Greece and Poland have a longer active winless streak at the European Championships on five.
    • 16.40 Sean Fay has been with the Irish football team, or at least the Irish football team's fans. He has been having a terrific time on the lash with the Irish....and a 4-0 defeat to Spain isn't going to change his outlook on the finals. Lord of Gdansk: We had dreams and songs to sing
    • 16.35 So we have a couple of deliveries today from our men in the field. Tom Adams has been chatting to Freddie Ljungberg about what he expects to see from the England-Sweden match later tonight. Ljungberg: Carroll can be a threat
    • 16.30 Ukraine are winless in six encounters with France. The French won three times, the other three ended up in a tie. This is the seventh match that Ukraine will play at a major tournament. Anatoli Timoshchuk, Andri Shevchenko and Oleg Husyev (all in today's starting line-up) are the only players that have played in all matches.
    • 16.25 Laurent Blanc: "I know (Andriy) Shevchenko well, I played against him and he was difficult to mark. I was not always happy at the end of the games. He is in great form, but he needs a bit of space to show it. I heard the Ukraine coach said he did not fear. He can rest assured, we do not fear Ukraine either, even if we respect them. We came here a year ago, we beat Ukraine but the context is different."
    • 16.20 Oleg Blokhin: "If (Laurent) Blanc said France are an outsider he did not mean it. They have great young players. I said after Sweden we haven't achieved anything yet. My main task is to give strength to the players and make it possible that we get through the group stage. I will do everything to give them the energy to perform. In my head I have tomorrow's game but I try not to think about it because the pressure was very big after the first match."
    • 16.15 France make a few changes to the team that dominated possession but failed to beat England. Florent Malouda makes way for Jeremy Menez with Gael Clichy coming in for Patrice Evra. Samir Nasri retains his place despite suggestions he may be dropped after scoring against England.
    • 16.10 Ukraine do not make any changes from the team that beat Sweden 2-1. Coach Oleg Blokhin claimed he was unhappy with "mistakes" by the team during that match, but said there was not time to do anything about them. One possible change could be the introduction of Artem Milevsky for Andriy Voronin, but that will need to come from the bench.
    • 16.05 Teams: Ukraine: 12-Andriy Pyatov; 9-Oleh Gusyev, 3-Evhen Khacheridi, 17-Taras Mykhalyk, 2-Evhen Selin; 11-Andriy Yarmolenko, 4-Anatoly Tymoshchuk, 10-Andriy Voronin, 19-Evhen Konoplyanka; 18-Serhiy Nazarenko; 7-Andriy Shevchenko//// France: 1-Hugo Lloris; 2-Mathieu Debuchy, 5-Philippe Mexes, 4-Adil Rami, 22-Gael Clichy; 14-Jeremy Menez, 11-Samir Nasri, 18-Alou Diarra, 6-Yohan Cabaye, 7-Franck Ribery; 10-Karim Benzema////Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)
    • 16.00 Good afternoon and welcome to LIVE coverage of the Group D match between Ukraine and France at 4pm on Friday. Ukraine seeking a win to reach the last eight of the tournament while France are seeking their first win of the tournament after a 1-1 draw in their opener against England.
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