The qualification phases are never a smooth ride for the French team. The opening game of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday evening illustrated this once again. The French team were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine at the Stade de France. It was the first time that the French had taken the lead in the first half, with Antoine Griezmann's fine strike in the 19th minute. But the French then failed to make the final move before falling asleep in the second half. The Ukrainian equalizer, an own goal by Presnel Kimpembe (57th), did not help the team, which instead found itself facing an even more tightly-packed defence in its area. France are now fourth in Group D, while Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina have also played out a 2-2 draw.
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