Euro 2012: Ukraine 0-2 France - Cabaye grabs win after wild storm
SPARKLING attacking football and goals from Jeremy Menez and Yohan Cabaye earned France a crucial 2-0 victory over Ukraine in their Euro 2012 Group D match yesterday after the game was halted for 55 minutes due to a spectacular thunderstorm.
Scorers: France - Menez (53), Cabaye (56)
Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers took the players off the field in the fifth minute after thunder, lightning and torrential rain descended on the stadium and it was almost an hour before play resumed, with the surface having dried out remarkably quickly.
Despite the weather disruption, the match at the Donbass Arena started at a high-tempo as both teams attacked from the outset, with Ukraine urged on by a raucous, albeit drenched, home crowd.
Menez, brought into the France team for Florent Malouda, had an effort ruled out for a clear offside and then the pacy winger brought a brilliant save from Andriy Pyatov with a close-range strike.
At the other end, Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko, who scored twice in their opening win in Kiev, brought Hugo Lloris into action when he raced on to a long ball and fired at the near post, but the keeper got down well to save.
Pyatov made another brilliant save in the 39th minute to tip over a powerful header from Philippe Mexes, who met a Samir Nasri free kick.
It was a pulsating first half and the high tempo resumed after the break, with Menez again testing Pyatov in the 49th minute, while seconds later Shevchenko cut in from the left and fired just wide of the top corner.
Menez was a constant threat and it was no surprise when he put France ahead in the 53rd minute, finishing off a brilliant counter-attack. Franck Ribery burst down the left and Karim Benzema fed Menez who cut onto his left foot and fired home.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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