September 3, 2017 / 8:45 PM / 10 months ago

Soccer-Brave Luxembourg hold France to draw in World Cup qualifier

TOULOUSE, France, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Luxembourg resisted bravely under sustained pressure to hold France to a 0-0 draw in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

Les Bleus, who had thrashed the Netherlands 4-0 on Thursday, created many opportunities and hit the woodwork twice but had to be content with a draw that puts them one point clear at the top of Group A with 17 points from eight games.

Sweden are second one point back after beating Belarus 4-0 earlier on Sunday, with the Netherlands in third place a further three points adrift after beating Bulgaria 3-1.

France confiscated the ball from the kickoff and had their chances in the first half, notably when Antoine Griezmann rattled the crossbar from a free kick five minutes from the break.

Luxembourg, however, resisted bravely and changed ends with the tie still goalless.

Defender Djibril Sidibe came close to putting France ahead with a header on 63 minutes that Luxembourg goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert did well to save and midfielder Paul Pogba hit the crossbar with a header on 73 minutes.

The home side survived a fright five minutes later when a swift counter-attack from the visitors ended with midfielder Gelson Rodrigues entering the box to hit the post with an angled shot.

France visit Bulgaria on Oct. 7 while Sweden will host Luxembourg and Belarus will entertain the Netherlands. (Writing by Patrick Vignal in Paris; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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