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France prevail in stormy finale

France 2-0 Malta
Lynel Kitambala helped turn the Group 8 match in the hosts' favour before earning the first of three late red cards.

Debutant Yacine Brahimi set up France's opener
Debutant Yacine Brahimi set up France's opener ©Sportsfile

France rounded off their disappointing UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign on a winning note in a fractious game.

Both sides arrived in Amiens with their play-off ambitions already ended, yet Malta were determined to at least get off the mark in Group 8 – initially with some success. The introduction of Lynel Kitambala helped turn things in France's favour, however, and the substitute broke the deadlock before the hour when he rose to head in debutant Yacine Brahimi's corner. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa swiftly doubled the advantage and Malta's disappointment was compounded when Mark Scerri and Clifford Gatt Baldacchino were sent off in the final ten minutes, shortly after France goalscorer Kitambala had seen red.