By Christian Isnard
France dropped their first points of the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign but still returned to the top of Group 4 despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland.
With Israel taking over at the top of the standings after a 3-1 win against the Republic of Ireland earlier in the day, Bernard Challandes' side had slipped to second. However, the French took the lead at the Stade de l'Aube, home of ES Troyes Aube Champagne, just before the hour as FC Girondins de Bordeaux striker Julien Faubert put the home team in front.
Just eight minutes later it was all square again, however, Brescia Calcio midfield player Fabrizio Zambrella shooting high into the net to level the scores. René Girard's visiting side pressed hard for a winner in the closing stages, but neither team could make the decisive breakthrough.
France therefore moved on to ten points from four games, above the Israelis on head-to-head record only although having played a game fewer. The Swiss, meanwhile, are third on five points from three matches, and next face Cyprus on Tuesday, with France travelling to Israel the same day.
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