PARIS (AP) – Midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko and striker Artem Dovbyk’s second-half goals brought Ukraine a 2-0 victory in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday and moved it to the World Cup playoffs after the second runway winner in France.
Ukraine was ranked 12 points in Group D, six points behind Les Bleus and one ahead of Finland. Ukraine wants to participate in the World Cup for the first time since reaching the 2006 semi-finals and get some rescue after losing to France in 2014 in a narrow playoff game.
Finland lost 2-0 at home to the 2018 champion France on Tuesday, who grabbed the top spot after losing to Kazakhstan 8-0 on saturday.
Les Bleus worked in the first half in cold Helsinki, but the attack intensified with the arrival of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema. He scored after Kylian Mbappeen added a great second goal to continue his lucrative form.
The French, who had already qualified for Qatar, started slowly at the Olympic Stadium. Finland’s best-ever scorer Teemu Pukki knocked down one shot comfortably on goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 30th shot and exploded from another attempt as he scored his 34th goal.
The rough half was summed up when French right-wing defender Leo Dubois withdrew due to a right thigh injury and was replaced by Benjamin Pavard.
French coach Didier Deschamps took over Benzema from ineffective Moussa Diabys and finished close to 57th.
Benzeman’s quick movement and technical abilities were too good when he swapped passes with Mbappe – who had scored four goals against the Kazaks – to score with a slightly bent shot in the 66th shot.
It was 36 for Benzema in 94 matches at Les Bleus and ninth in 13 matches after Deschamps invited him back to this summer’s European Championships.
His collaboration with Mbappe is only getting better.
“Because our team (the World Cup) is on our minds,” Benzema said. “We have our goals, and that includes winning the world championship.”
Mbappe scored a great goal on 76th.
Turning in the middle of the defender, he rushed down to the left and circled the ball brilliantly straight from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the 24th international goal.
In the playoffs, the 10 teams that won the Nations League last year in the playoffs will follow in the playoffs. The second-place finishers in the top six will play at home in the semi-finals first.
FIFA will appreciate the playoffs in Zurich on November 26th.
The three winners of the playoff finals on March 29 will complement the line-up of 13 European teams present in Qatar.
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