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Rami completes France comeback victory

Published: Sunday 27 May 2012, 23.26CET
France 3-2 Iceland
Two down after 34 minutes, France scored three times after the break in Valenciennes to extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches.
by Matthew Spiro
from Stade du Hainaut
Rami completes France comeback victory
Mathieu Debuchy celebrates with Karim Benzema after scoring France's first goal ©AFP

Match statistics

FranceIceland

Goals scored3
 
2
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0

International Matches

Published: Sunday 27 May 2012, 23.26CET

Rami completes France comeback victory

France 3-2 Iceland
Two down after 34 minutes, France scored three times after the break in Valenciennes to extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches.

Franck Ribéry and Adil Rami scored late on as France recovered from a two-goal deficit to defeat Iceland in a UEFA EURO 2012 warm-up match in Valenciennes.

A major upset looked on the cards when Birkir Bjarnason and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson punished some sloppy defending to put Lars Lagerbäck's men in command at the break. Mathieu Debuchy reduced the arrears on 52 minutes, however, before Ribéry and Rami spared the hosts' blushes and extended their unbeaten run to 19 games.

Laurent Blanc had named a strong lineup, including his first-choice back four. Yet Philippe Mexès – skipper in the absence of Hugo Lloris - struggled to contain the powerful Sigthórsson early on and it was not a total surprise when the visitors scored on 28 minutes. The AFC Ajax striker beat Mexès to a header, nodding through for Bjarnason to rifle an emphatic finish beyond Steve Mandanda.

It got worse for Blanc's charges six minutes later, Rúrik Gíslason escaping down the right and crossing low for Sigthórsson to slot in his fifth goal in nine internationals. The two-time European champions looked stunned, yet they reacted in the second half and managed to deny Iceland a first away win in nearly four years.

Debuchy began the fightback, shooting in after Karim Benzema's strike was deflected, although Les Bleus were indebted to Mandanda for his brilliant point-blank stop from Bjarnason moments later.

Blanc made six changes and two of his substitutes combined for the 85th-minute leveller, Ribéry latching on to Olivier Giroud's sublime return pass and applying a delightful finish. Giroud was also involved in the winner two minutes later, nodding a Mexès pass into the stride of Rami, who scored right-footed.

The final whistle came as a relief to Blanc, who will be hoping for a less fretful night against Serbia in Reims on Thursday.

 
Last updated: 28/05/12 17.47CET

http://www.uefa.com/friendlies/season=2012/matches/round=2000293/match=2010172/postmatch/report/index.html#france+post+comeback

Lineups

France

France

Iceland

Iceland

1
MandandaSteve Mandanda (GK)
1
HalldórssonHannes Halldórsson (GK)
Yellow Card66
2
DebuchyMathieu Debuchy
Goal52
2
SigurdssonRagnar Sigurdsson
Yellow Card38
4
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
Yellow Card23
3
ValgardssonHjörtur Valgardsson
Yellow Card54
Substitution58
3
RamiAdil Rami
Goal87
4
JónssonEggert Jónsson
Substitution66
5
EvraPatrice Evra
5
JónassonHallgrímur Jónasson
7
CabayeYohan Cabaye
Substitution58
6
ÁrnasonKári Árnason
6
GourcuffYoann Gourcuff
Substitution75
8
BjarnasonBirkir Bjarnason
Goal27
8
NasriSamir Nasri
Substitution60
7
A. GunnarssonAron Gunnarsson
9
Ben ArfaHatem Ben Arfa
Substitution58
9
G. SigurdssonGylfi Sigurdsson
10
MénezJérémy Ménez
Substitution75
10
GíslasonRúrik Gíslason
Substitution76
11
BenzemaKarim Benzema
Substitution60
11
SigthórssonKolbeinn Sigthórsson
Goal34
Substitution46

Substitutes

12
A. DiarraAlou Diarra
Substitution58
12
HédinssonEyjólfur Hédinsson
Substitution46
13
GiroudOlivier Giroud
Substitution58
15
SkúlasonAri Skúlason
Substitution58
14
MaloudaFlorent Malouda
Substitution60
14
DaníelssonHelgi Daníelsson
Substitution66
15
MartinMarvin Martin
Substitution60
13
GudmundssonJóhann Gudmundsson
Substitution76
16
ValbuenaMathieu Valbuena
Substitution75
17
RibéryFranck Ribéry
Substitution75
Goal84

Coach

Laurent Blanc (FRA) Lars Lagerbäck (SWE)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
 
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