Goals from Jeremy Menez and Yohan Cabaye earned France a 2-0 win over Ukraine in their Euro 2012 Group D match on Friday.
The referee had to suspend the proceedings in the fifth minute, due to a massive thunder storm around the Donbass Arena in Donetsk. The play resumed nearly an hour later and France immediately dominated the proceedings. Menez had a goal ruled out for offside, but Blanc’s side continued to look more threatening than Ukraine.
Ukraine almost took the lead just ten minutes before the break when Shevchenko latched on to a lofted through ball and rifled a volley towards goal, but it was from a wide angle and Lloris confidently parried away from his near post.
But it was only in the second half, that France found the back of the net, with two quick goals coming in a span of three minutes by Jeremy Menez (53’) and Yohan Cabaye (56’). France held the ball 52 percent of the time, and really wore down the Ukraine defense as the match rolled on.
Karim Benzema did not register a goal but he was outstanding for France. The Real Madrid striker played with more aggression and energy and had set up both the goals for his team.
In the second Group D match, England rallied for an entertaining 3-2 win over Sweden in Kiev, Ukraine, eliminating the Scandinavian side from the championship.
Andy Carroll’s superb header gave England a comfortable 1-0 lead in the first half. But Sweden fought back through an own-goal in the 49th minute by Glen Johnson and a header in the 59th minute by Olof Mellberg.
Walcott who came on as a substitute equalised and made it 2-2 in the 64th minute and then set up Danny Welbeck for the winner in the 78th as England earned its first win over Sweden in a competitive game in eight tries.
England needs only a draw against Ukraine in its last group game to advance to the quarter finals.