France Guaranteed a Playoff Spot with Belarus Win
Reuters

France secured at least a World Cup playoff spot when they came from behind to beat Belarus 4-2 away in a qualifying match on Tuesday.

Franck Ribery cancelled out Egor Filipenko and Timofei Kalachev’s goals with two second-half strikes before substitute Samir Nasri and Paul Pogba found the back of the net.

France are level with Group I leaders Spain on 14 points but the world champions are likely to finish top as they have a game in hand and a superior goal difference. Third placed Finland is out of the running as they have nine points with one game left.

Tuesday’s result means France will at the very least feature among the eight best second-placed teams in the European zone playoffs.

Belarus twice went ahead thanks to keeper Hugo Lloris’s blunders, only for Bayern Munich midfielder Ribery to level twice, from the penalty spot and from point-blank range.

Nasri gave Les Bleus the edge 20 minutes from time and Pogba put the result beyond doubt in the 73rd minute.

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