France 2 Serbia 1

September 10, 2008 | Filed Under: Euro Box 

In St-Denis, France, Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka scored second-half goals to give France a 2-1 victory over Serbia in a World Cup qualifying match, relieving the pressure on coach Raymond Domenech.

Henry gave France the lead in the 54th minute, and Anelka added another 10 minutes later. Branislav Ivanovic headed a goal back for Serbia in the 76th after France again failed to properly defend a corner.

Henry scored his 46th international goal after collecting a pass from Sidney Govou inside the penalty area and poking the ball inside the right post. Anelka showed great composure and an eye for goal when he cut inside his marker and sent a low shot past goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.

France and Serbia both have three points from two matches in Group 7 – which also includes Lithuania, Austria, Romania and the Faeroe Islands.

The French lost to Austria 3-1 on Saturday, and Domenech was expected to lose his job if France failed again in front of a hostile Stade de France crowd.

Serbia had easily contained France in the first half, but the hosts showed greater speed and determination after the interval, with Anelka a big threat, and Yoann Gourcuff providing a steady stream of clever passes for the forwards.
The win will come as a relief for Domenech. He has been fighting to keep his job since France’s exit from the European Championship, and he was loudly booed when the teams were announced.

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