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Rami completes France comeback victory

Published: Sunday 27 May 2012, 23.26CET
France 3-2 Iceland
Two down after 34 minutes, France scored three times after the break in Valenciennes to extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches.
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade du Hainaut
Rami completes France comeback victory
Mathieu Debuchy celebrates with Karim Benzema after scoring France's first goal ©AFP

Match statistics

FranceIceland

Goals scored3
 
2
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0

International Matches

Published: Sunday 27 May 2012, 23.26CET

Rami completes France comeback victory

France 3-2 Iceland
Two down after 34 minutes, France scored three times after the break in Valenciennes to extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches.

Franck Ribéry and Adil Rami scored late on as France recovered from a two-goal deficit to defeat Iceland in a UEFA EURO 2012 warm-up match in Valenciennes.

A major upset looked on the cards when Birkir Bjarnason and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson punished some sloppy defending to put Lars Lagerbäck's men in command at the break. Mathieu Debuchy reduced the arrears on 52 minutes, however, before Ribéry and Rami spared the hosts' blushes and extended their unbeaten run to 19 games.

Laurent Blanc had named a strong lineup, including his first-choice back four. Yet Philippe Mexès – skipper in the absence of Hugo Lloris - struggled to contain the powerful Sigthórsson early on and it was not a total surprise when the visitors scored on 28 minutes. The AFC Ajax striker beat Mexès to a header, nodding through for Bjarnason to rifle an emphatic finish beyond Steve Mandanda.

It got worse for Blanc's charges six minutes later, Rúrik Gíslason escaping down the right and crossing low for Sigthórsson to slot in his fifth goal in nine internationals. The two-time European champions looked stunned, yet they reacted in the second half and managed to deny Iceland a first away win in nearly four years.

Debuchy began the fightback, shooting in after Karim Benzema's strike was deflected, although Les Bleus were indebted to Mandanda for his brilliant point-blank stop from Bjarnason moments later.

Blanc made six changes and two of his substitutes combined for the 85th-minute leveller, Ribéry latching on to Olivier Giroud's sublime return pass and applying a delightful finish. Giroud was also involved in the winner two minutes later, nodding a Mexès pass into the stride of Rami, who scored right-footed.

The final whistle came as a relief to Blanc, who will be hoping for a less fretful night against Serbia in Reims on Thursday.

 
Last updated: 28/05/12 17.47CET

http://www.uefa.com/friendlies/season=2012/matches/round=2000293/match=2010172/postmatch/report/index.html#france+post+comeback

 
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