France's play-off hopes remained alive thanks to a comfortable victory against Group 10's bottom side Malta.
A strong first-half display laid the platform for the three points in Boulogne-sur-Mer as goals from Loïc Remy, Yoan Gouffran – who was dismissed moments later – and Yohan Cabaye gave Erick Mombaerts' team a three-goal lead by half-time. Despite their numerical disadvantage, France added two more in the second half through substitute Frédéric Nimani.
France visit Bosnia-Herzegovina in their final qualifier on Tuesday, a game they must win to stay in contention for a play-off berth along with Wales and Romania. Here they got the perfect start five minutes in. Malta goalkeeper Luke Woods could only parry Blaise Matuidi's strike and OGC Nice forward Rémy dispatched the rebound. It was one-way traffic and France soon had their second when FC Girondins de Bordeaux's Gouffran volleyed in a cross from Anthony Mounier.
Two minutes later, however, Gouffran was shown a straight red card for kicking visiting captain Clayton Failla. Yet despite the setback, the 1988 European champions continued to attack. Seven minutes before the interval, LOSC Lille Métropole midfielder Cabaye extended the lead, which was further enhanced in the last 20 minutes when Nimani of AS Monaco FC netted twice at the far post following crosses by Elliot Grandin and Romain Danzé.