By Christian Châtelet
France 3-0 Ivory Coast
Zinedine Zidane scored on his international comeback as France defeated the Ivory Coast to boost confidence ahead of a tough set of autumn FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
At a sold-out Mosson stadium, William Gallas broke the deadlock before Zidane - back in the fold along with Lilian Thuram and Claude Makelele - marked his return with a goal and Thierry Henry made it three.
Patrick Vieira pulled out just before kick-off with a thigh problem, but eleven years after winning his first cap, Zidane donned the captain's armband and was imperious at the heart of a 4-5-1 formation.
Thuram became the second Juventus FC player to succumb to injury when limping off on 23 minutes but his team were soon ahead, Gallas heading in Sylvain Wiltord's 28th-minute corner. Didier Drogba wasted two good opportunities to equalise for the visitors but France went into the interval in the ascendancy.
Wiltord was again the provider for the second goal on 62 minutes, when Ivorian goalkeeper Jean-Jacques Tizie missed the winger's corner and Zidane helped the ball over the line with his left foot. Four minutes later Vikash Dhorasoo released Henry to wrap up a tidy evening for Les Bleus, who must travel to Group 4 leaders the Republic of Ireland after welcoming the Faroe Islands to France on 3 September.
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