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France rally to get past Belarus

Belarus 2-4 France
Didier Deschamps' charges rediscovered their goalscoring touch with a stirring second-half comeback to go level with Spain at the top of Group I.

Samir Nasri shows his delight after giving France the lead
Samir Nasri shows his delight after giving France the lead ©AFP/Getty Images

France recovered from a goal down to beat Belarus 4-2 and move level on points with Spain at the Group I summit.

Trailing 2-1 with 26 minutes remaining, Les Blues were staring down the barrel until Franck Ribéry equalised for the second time. Substitute Samir Nasri then turned the tide in their favour before Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba completed the comeback to assure Les Bleus, who have played a game more than Spain, at least a second-placed finish in the FIFA World Cup qualifying section.

Following five games without a goal, Didier Deschamps' side suffered further disappointment when goalkeeper Hugo Lloris fumbled Timofei Kalachev's corner and Egor Filipenko headed in. However, the visitors emerged rejuvenated after the break and Ribéry lifted the pressure by keeping his cool from the spot after being upended by goalkeeper Sergei Veremko.

Unperturbed, the hosts swiftly resumed control, Kalachev flying down the wing before sending an unstoppable effort beyond Lloris. Their joy was short-lived, Ribéry turning in Mathieu Valbuena's pinpoint centre seven minutes later. The recovery was complete when Manchester City FC schemer Nasri fired in with 20 minutes remaining, Pogba rounded off the scoring with aplomb.