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France get the better of Portugal

Published: Saturday 11 October 2014, 22.48CET
France 2-1 Portugal
Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba were both on target to ensure a losing start for the new Portugal coach Fernando Santos.
by David Crossan
from Stade de France

Match statistics

FrancePortugal

Goals scored2
 
1
Yellow cards2
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0
Published: Saturday 11 October 2014, 22.48CET

France get the better of Portugal

France 2-1 Portugal
Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba were both on target to ensure a losing start for the new Portugal coach Fernando Santos.

• France record ninth straight win against Portugal; unbeaten against Portuguese since 1975
• Karim Benzema scores 25th international goal to give French third-minute lead
Turns creator for second Les Bleus goal, converted by Paul Pogba
• Ricardo Quaresma penalty cannot prevent defeat for new Portugal coach Fernando Santos
Next games: Denmark v Portugal, Armenia v France (Tuesday)

UEFA EURO 2016 hosts France impressed as they beat Portugal 2-1 in a friendly at the Stade de France.

Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the third minute from close range as Fernando Santos's Portugal reign got off to a choppy start. Paul Pogba's assured 69th-minute finish after fine work from Benzema extended the French advantage, though Portugal ended the game strongly and pulled a goal back through substitute Ricardo Quaresma's 77th-minute penalty.

Benzema outshone his Real Madrid CF club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, converting after Rui Patrício had denied Bacary Sagna a first international goal, pushing the full-back's strike out to the forward. Set up in a 4-3-3 by Didier Deschamps, France were vibrant in the early exchanges.

Portugal, defeated by Albania in their opening UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier, were hesitant initially but midway through the half Nani slid a shot centimetres wide with Steve Mandanda beaten. Six minutes after the restart Mandanda made an outstanding save to keep out a powerful and well-directed Ronaldo header as Portugal came out with renewed intent.

Portugal were halted in their tracks, though, when Pogba classily stroked home his fifth Les Bleus goal from the edge of the area after Benzema's lay-off. Raphaël Varane then deflected wide a goalbound Ronaldo effort, the Portugal captain's final involvement before being withdrawn by Santos with Tuesday's Group I qualifier in Denmark in mind.

Visiting substitute João Mário was then clipped by Pogba just inside the box and Quaresma confidently sent Mandanda the wrong way. Portugal almost equalised when João Mário flashed an attempt wide.

Last updated: 11/07/17 20.26CET

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