Matuidi puts France in control of their World Cup destiny

Bulgaria The Traffic in Sofia is Changing due to the World Cup Qualification Game Bulgaria-France

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The penultimate round of European World Cup qualifying came to a conclusion on Saturday, with France, Switzerland and Portugal all ensuring qualification is their own hands, but the Netherlands now need a miracle to have any hope of qualification.

France were off to a flying start as a flowing team move ended with Antoine Griezmann teeing up Matuidi to blast home from a tight angle on three minutes.

The pressure was on after Sweden had earlier swept past Luxembourg 8-0 to boost their hopes of making it to Russian Federation, which in turn all but eliminated Holland, who later won 3-1 in Belarus.

Defender Vasil Bozhikov made a stunning tackle to stop Alexandre Lacazette from doubling the advantage, before N'Golo Kante was forced to leave the pitch with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.

Hugo Lloris produced a huge save later on to deny Georgi Kostadinov as Bulgaria looked to repeat the famous win over France that sent them to the 1994 World Cup, and Didier Deschamps's men can now seal a spot with three points at home to Belarus on Tuesday. The Dutch needed a victory in Barysaw to keep alive any hopes of a top-two finish, but despite a third goal in two games from Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Davy Propper, Belarus equalised through Maksim Volodjko.

'They have a quality to play through rapid counter-attacks. There's no one player who makes a difference.


Meanwhile, Portugal struggled against Andorra at the Estadio Nacional in Andorra La Vella. In the previous head to head record between these two teams, France won the game. It's true that it was a fight, and we need to do better.

The late game in that Group saw Greece come from a goal down to beat Cyprus 2-1 and go second in the group with a game to go. The second half was harder. On Saturday they travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina, who are second in the group and looking to improve their chances of qualifying for the play-offs as one of the best eight teams.

Thomas Meunier had put Belgium in front after just four minutes, but goals from Haris Medunjanin on the half-hour and Edin Visca after 39 minutes put the hosts ahead going into the break.

Spas Delev had the first half-chance of the second period after finding space outside the France box, but the striker curled his effort wide of the far post.

The other game in the group sees Gibraltar, who are without a point, host Estonia.

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