France labour to 3-1 win against China

8th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

ST-ETIENNE, France, June 7, 2006 (AFP) - France laboured to a 3-1 victory over China in their final World Cup warm-up here on Wednesday night when Djibril Cissé's injury put a dampener on Zinedine Zidane's last international on home soil.

ST-ETIENNE, France, June 7, 2006 (AFP) - France laboured to a 3-1 victory over China in their final World Cup warm-up here on Wednesday night when Djibril Cissé's injury put a dampener on Zinedine Zidane's last international on home soil.

Liverpool striker Cissé had to go off in the 13th minute with a right leg injury after a tackle by China's Zheng Zhi which has put his World Cup in jeopardy in a dramatic opening spell before French President Jacques Chirac and about 40,000 fans at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium.

Cissé was immediately taken on a stretcher to the side of the pitch for treatment by France team doctor Jean-Pierre Paclet but was moved into the locker rooms only just before his replacement, David Trezeguet, scored France's first goal on the half-hour.

"I saw some good things. We did well up front and we certainly got some success with two late goals," France coach Raymond Domenech said afterwards.

"It was a difficult match to play in and our opponents gave their all. But the overriding feeling I have is that our thoughts are with Cissé."

Arsenal's Thierry Henry was sent on his way down the right by Zidane and he crossed for Trezeguet who made no mistake at the far post for the first goal.

As Cissé was taken to hospital for tests, France and China played out the rest of an uneventful first half.

There was little more to say early in the second half but, with about 20 minutes go, China were back in the match. France's Eric Abidal fouled Zheng who got up and put the ball past keeper Fabien Barthez from the spot.

Just when France's final World Cup warm-up looked to be heading for a stale mate, the hosts earned two goals in the dying seconds.

Wang Yun inexplicably miscued an attempted clearance from the edge of the box into the top left hand corner, leaving keeper Li Leilei little chance.

Two minutes later, with Li well off his goal line, Henry saw his chance and shot home into an empty net.

The real winner of this fixture appears to be Trezeguet should Cissé receive bad news on his injury.

Henry and Cissé were set to be France's first-choice attacking partnership at the June 9 to July 9 finals in Germany, but the way could be open for Juventus forward Trezeguet to force his way into the starting eleven.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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