France Almost There, Looks Impossible for the Netherlands & Portugal

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France return to the top of their 2018 World Cup qualification group courtesy of a 1-0 win over Bulgaria on Saturday night.

Laurent Blanc has challenged the France squad to aim for a place in the Russia World Cup and go ahead to win it. Will we win the World Cup?

Kante will miss tomorrow's match, Deschamps said.

Belarus equalised through Maksim Volodjko.

But they now face a near impossible task, as Sweden thrashed Luxembourg 8-0 earlier on Saturday, with forward Marcus Berg scoring four goals, to extend their advantage over Dick Advocaat's men on goal difference to 12.

Sweden have a vastly superior goal difference, and the Netherlands' - runners-up three times -participation in Russian Federation looks highly unlikely.

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. Ukraine revived its World Cup hopes and set up a pivotal tie with Croatia in the Group I when it defied rain-soaked conditions to win 2-0 away to bottom side Kosovo the same day. Presumably wanting to rest their talisman, coach Fernando Santos started with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench.

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The game's only goal came in just the third minute as Blaise Matuidi thumped in from close range, with Antoine Griezmann and Corentin Tolisso missing chances to extend the lead.

"It's a really important match, we have to go to Russian Federation". It's true that it was a fight, and we need to do better.

Group B leaders Switzerland, meanwhile, moved a step closer to Russian Federation after a 5-2 win over Hungary in Basel made it nine straight qualification wins.

The 1998 world champions lead Sweden by one point in Group A with two matches to play, but France need little reminding of the pain inflicted upon them by the Bulgarians in one of the national team's darkest hours.

Zuber then added his second and Switzerland's fourth from 20 yards out early in the second half, and though Hungary were able to get a goal back through Richard Guzmics, Stephan Lichtsteiner made it 5-1 with seven minutes to play before Roland Ugrai added a late second for the visitors.

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.

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