Luxembourg hold France to shock 0-0 draw

September 04, 2017
Luxembourg's Laurent Jans (right), challenges for the ball with France's Olivier Giroud during the World Cup Group A qualifying match between France and Luxembourg at the Stadium municipal in Toulouse, France, yesterday. The game ended 0-0. (AP Photo)

Tiny Luxembourg held France to a shock 0-0 draw yesterday in World Cup qualifying in Group A.

The point keeps France top of the group, one point ahead of Sweden which earlier beat Belarus 4-0 in Borisov. The Netherlands went third by beating Bulgaria 3-1 in Amsterdam, keeping alive faint Dutch hopes of qualifying for Russia.

With Sweden's big win in Belarus, goal difference very much favours the Swedes.


Veteran goalkeeper


Didier Deschamps' team, featuring marquee strikers including Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Alexandre Lacazette, could find no way through Luxembourg's defensive wall on an evening of French frustration in Toulouse.

Griezmann missed a straightforward early chance as France had more than 30 shots on goal but was kept at bay by veteran goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert and a packed defense.

"We had clear chances but against a compact team like that you have to keep pushing," France coach Deschamps said.

Luxembourg almost stole victory when substitute Gerson Rodrigues hit the post with a fine solo run and shot 12 minutes from time.

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