Post-Zidane France team off to winning start

17th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

SARAJEVO, Aug 16, 2006 (AFP) - Julien Faubert scored in injury time to give World Cup finalists France a fortunate 2-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina here on Wednesday in a friendly international.

SARAJEVO, Aug 16, 2006 (AFP) - Julien Faubert scored in injury time to give World Cup finalists France a fortunate 2-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina here on Wednesday in a friendly international.

The Bosnians had taken a 16th minute lead through captain Sergei Barbarez before disgruntled Chelsea defender William Gallas levelled four minutes before half-time on the eve of his 29th birthday.

Faubert was sent on as a second-half substitute by coach Raymond Domenech wearing the No 10 jersey adorned by retired legend Zinedine Zidane and the 23-year-old Bordeaux — one of Zidane's former clubs — midfielder more than repaid that faith by slotting home right footed in the dying seconds.

Domenech, who became an unlikely hero after taking his side to the World Cup final penalty shootout loss to Italy in July, was delighted with the attitude off his players.

"I saw a team that reacted well, who were organised, who showed hunger and who won.

"It is excellent that we have won with this confidence that makes all the difference.

"One saw above all players with a real appetite for the game.

"The others (the new ones) saw what had happened at the World Cup, and those who returned to the team were obliged to raise their game a little bit."

The first half had been an entertaining spectacle with a fair amount of hardtackling going on which generally went unpunished.

However the Bosnians deservedly took the lead in the 16th minute through Barbarez who seized on a knockdown in the area to half volley it past Gregory Coupet.

Louis Saha looked far more lively up front than Thierry Henry and it was the Manchester United man who three times looked like levelling affairs, once from a knockdown from Henry his shot was beaten away by the keeper Kenan Hasagic with his legs.

Then Saha, who was suspended for the World Cup final, had a header just go wide of the post and then another shot which was again beaten away by the keeper with his legs.

However Bosnia also had a fair amount of efforts and were unfortunate not to go 2-0 up when German referee Franck-Xaver Wack waved away claims for what looked like a genuine claim for a penalty after Zlatan Muslimovic had weaved his merry way through the French defence only for Jean-Alain Boumsong to appear to trip him.

That was the let-off that the French needed as they went down the other end and Gallas was on hand to seize on a knockdown from Henry at the far post and slot it into the net.

The second-half was a scrappier affair but Saha was once again thwarted by the admirable Hasagic when in another one on one situation with him but his effort went wide.

However Faubert was to show no such profligacy and give the France post-Zidane era a winning start.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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