Euro 2012: France defeat co-hosts Ukraine 2-0


France earned their first victory at Euro 2012 thanks to second-half goals from Jérémy Ménez and Yohan Cabaye. A torrential storm had interrupted the match after just a few minutes from the first whistle and the two teams were forced to take cover in the dressing rooms for nearly an hour.

Karim Benzema was the first man to try his luck on goal after the game had resumed and his curled shot nearly placed the wet ball past goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov. Andriy Yarmolenko replied for the home side with low effort that went wide. France appeared the better team though and Franck Ribéry created a big chance after his cross for Benzema deflected into the path of Ménez in front of goal but the midfielder fired straight at Pyatov. The Ukrainian goalie then pulled off a huge save to stop a Philippe Mexes header on a free kick but Hugo Lloris, the French goalie, also impressed with a great save on a fierce drive from veteran Andriy Shevchenko.

Shevchenko came close again after the interval when he sent one narrowly off-target from the edge of the area. Pyatov pulled off another great save on Ménez at the other end of the pitch but couldn't stop the French midfielder again when he received a pass from Benzema, skipped past Yevhen Selin and placed the ball at the near post bottom corner.

Three minutes later the Ukrainian goalie was beaten again, Cabaye this time applying a low finish from another Benzema assist. Cabaye came close to adding when he rattled a post from distance while the home side were unable to display any sort of fightback. The French now have four points, one more than Ukraine, before meeting Sweden in the final group match next Tuesday.

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