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Pogba proves decisive for France

France 1-0 Portugal
A 29th-minute goal from Paul Pogba revived the Group A hopes of France despite ending with nine men.

Paul Pogba is mobbed after his winner
Paul Pogba is mobbed after his winner ©Sportsfile

Paul Pogba's first-half strike put France back in UEFA European Under-17 Championship contention with victory against Portugal.

The Manchester United FC midfielder, recalled to the starting lineup, scored on 29 minutes and that proved enough despite France having substitutes Billel Omrani and Vincent Leroux sent off. France move ahead of Portugal into second place in Group A on head-to-head record, three points behind Spain and ahead of Switzerland, but all is yet to be decided on Monday.

Spain's 4-0 win against Switzerland earlier this evening left Portugal knowing that victory would take them through – and end France's campaign one game early. France, beaten 2-1 by Spain on Tuesday, had the better of things early on but like in that first game without really creating clear-cut chances.

Portugal had the same team as Tuesday's 3-0 defeat of Switzerland but were not able to take control of this game, goalkeeper André Pereira doing well to tip a low Abdoulaye Doucouré drive round the post. Pogba then embarked on a jinking run but shot over. As the half-hour mark approached France stepped up the pressure, and Dylan Deligny had an effort turned on to the post by Pereira. After a corner the attack continued and Pogba's deflected shot from inside the box found its way in.

France did not let up at the start of the second half, Anthony Koura striking over after Yaya Sanogo's effort was blocked and the always busy Youssouf Sabaly shooting wide. Omrani was introduced to further strengthen the attack but within three minutes a foul on Agostinho Cá, brought on at the same time, earned the France forward a red card. Portugal could find no way through but in the dying seconds another France player was dismissed, Leroux for fouling Pedro Almeida. Portugal will probably have to beat neighbours Spain in Vaduz on Monday while France, despite suspensions to Omrani, Leroux and the booked Sabaly, are in a good position before facing Switzerland here.