Belarus vs. France: Final score 2-4, Les Bleus make up for goalkeeper gaffes

Dennis Grombkowski

France looked sunk thanks to a terrible first half and a couple of howlers by Hugo Lloris, but Franck Ribery and his midfield mates helped lift their side past Belarus.

France's win over Belarus on Tuesday was a bit more eventful than it should have been, thanks to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. His errors put his team unexpectedly behind on two occasions, but Les Bleus were able to fight back. Both equalizers were scored by Franck Ribery, by far the best player for either team, as France won, 4-2.

Literally nothing of consequence happened in the first half before Lloris' first gaffe. He did a horrible job of getting in front of a header by Yegor Filipenko on a corner and let the ball dribble past him after a weak attempt at a save. That seemed to wake up France, who had been sleepwalking through the first half-hour, but it didn't lead to a first-half goal.

Ribery got his team back in the match instantly in the second half, drawing a penalty in the 47th minute. He stepped up to convert and tie the game, but it wouldn't remain level for long. Lloris let in another terrible goal on a shot by Timofei Kalachev in the 57th minute that he should have not only saved, but easily held on to.

Belarus couldn't hold on for long, though, and once France scored again the floodgates were open. Ribery scored his second equalizer of the night in the 64th minute, finishing off a low cross by Mathieu Valbuena. Valbuena set up the winner six minutes later, finding substitute Samir Nasri for France's third goal.

Paul Pogba finished off the scoring in the 73rd minute, punching in a rebound after a header by Laurent Koscielny was saved.

France: Lloris, Clichy, Koscielny, Abidal, Sagna, Matuidi, Pogba, Payet (Nasri 61'), Ribery (Sissoko 80'), Valbuena (Guilavogui 90'), Giroud

Goals: Ribery (penalty 47', 64'), Nasri (70'), Pogba (73')

Belarus: Veremko, Martynovich, Verkhovtsov (Rodionov 77'), Filipenko, Dragun (Olekhnovich 71'), Balanovich, Tsiharau (Bressan 83'), Bordachev, Hleb, Putsilo, Kalachev

Goals: Filipenko (32'), Kalachev (57')

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