Ukraine beat France in World Cup playoff first leg

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Ukraine beat France in World Cup playoff first leg

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Roman Zozulya and Andriy Yarmolenko were both on target as Ukraine put one foot in the World Cup finals with a 2-0 victory over France in the first leg of their qualification playoff.

Les Bleus last missed a major competition when they failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals and they now face another embarrassment after their defeat in Kiev.

Zozulya squeezed his shot just under Hugo Lloris to put the home side ahead while Yarmolenko scored a late penalty when Laurent Koscielny fouled Zozulya in the box.

The return leg takes place at the Stade de France in four days time.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored with eight minutes remaining to hand Portugal a 1-0 win over Sweden in Lisbon.

Paulo Bento’s men now have the slight upper hand ahead of the return leg in Stockholm on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the European playoffs for Brazil next year – 2004 European champions Greece were 3-1 winners against Romania in Athens.

While a ten-man Iceland hung on for a goalless draw in the first leg of their playoff with Croatia to keep alive their dream of reaching the World Cup finals for the very first time.