Two-time European champions France got their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying bid back on track with victory in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the campaigns of Portugal and Russia stalled following defeats by Norway and Slovakia respectively on a busy night of international football.
France had kicked off their Group D schedule with a shock 1-0 home defeat by Belarus on Friday and Tuesday night's trip to Sarajevo looked a distinctly tricky prospect for Les Bleus. However, second-half goals from Karim Benzema and Florent Malouda secured a morale-boosting win, France's first under Laurent Blanc.
There was no such good news for Portugal whose stuttering start to qualifying took a turn for the worse as they followed up their 4-4 home draw against Cyprus with a 1-0 loss in Norway, Erik Huseklepp scoring the winner. Russia fared no better, going down by the same scoreline at home to Slovakia while the Czech Republic received similar treatment at the hands of Lithuania.
There were other notable away triumphs as Montenegro won in Bulgaria to join England – who beat Switzerland 3-1 in Basel – at the top of Group G. Elsewhere, Scotland needed a Stephen McManus header in the seventh minute of added time to beat Liechtenstein 2-1 at Hampden Park, Turkey defeated Belgium 3-2 and both Germany and Italy enjoyed five-goal successes.
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