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Govou double gives France revenge

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PARIS, France -- France turned the tables on World Cup winners Italy with a 3-1 victory in a pulsating Euro 2008 Group B qualifier in Paris on Wednesday.

Sidney Govou gave France the perfect start with a superbly struck volleyed goal after just two minutes and Thierry Henry added to the advantage just past the quarter hour mark.

Italy replied almost immediately through Alberto Gilardino but Govou bravely headed home a third early in the second half to seal a revenge victory for the beaten World Cup finalists.

The result leaves world champions Italy struggling with a mere point from their opening two qualifying matches under new coach Roberto Donadoni.

By contrast, France trail early group leaders Scotland merely on goal difference after two wins from two games.

Their confidence was sky-high as Govou volleyed in a cross by William Gallas after an incisive early move.

France increased their lead after 17 minutes when Henry slotted a superb right foot strike from close range after Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon failed to hold a powerful shot from Florent Malouda.

Italy pulled a goal back with Gilardino's header three minutes later but Govou struck again 11 minutes into the second half with a powerful header from 10 meters from a Willy Sagnol free kick.

After the explosive first half, the second period at the Stade de France provided less goalmouth action, but France were comfortable winners to the satisfaction of coach Raymond Domenech.

"The perfect match is where you score on every attack and where you are never in danger," he said.

"I have to admit we weren't far from the perfect match."

Scotland win

Christian Dailly and Kenny Miller scored second-half goals in Scotland's 2-1 victory over Lithuania, who held Italy to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Scotland continued the from which saw them beat the Faroe Islands 6-0 on Saturday.

Dailly gave Scotland a 1-0 lead in the 46th minute, taking a floating corner from Gary Naysmith and heading the ball past Lithuania goalkeeper Zydrunas Karcemarskas.

Miller made it 2-0 in the 62nd, breaking into the area and lashing a bouncing ball from six meters behind Karcemarskas.

Lithuania's Darius Miceika scored with five minutes to go from an acrobatic overhead kick after Scotland failed to clear a corner.

Lithuania had the better of play in the first half with about 60 percent of possession and in the second minute Tomas Zvirgzdauskas' shot from 12 meters was cleared off the line by Naysmith.

Scotland manager Walter Smith saluted his players for their latest victory.

"We are delighted," he told BBC Radio Scotland. "I was just looking at some of the results Lithuania have had since the early 90s and their games have always been close and that one was no different.

"We have two huge games to play next month (against France at home and Ukraine away) and so we go into them in good spirit and hopefully we can do something."

Miller picked up his second booking in two games after being cautioned on Saturday and will miss the clash with France.

Opening goal

Andriy Shevchenko scored the opening goal Wednesday to help Ukraine beat Georgia 3-2 in Kiev in another Group B qualifier on Wednesday.

Shevchenko headed in following a cross from Serhiy Tkachenko, but Shota Arveladze outplayed Andriy Husin and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner to level in the 37th.

Georgi Demetradze then scored from the penalty spot in the 59th to give Georgia the lead.

Midfielder Ruslan Rotan headed in the equalizer in the 61st and defender Andriy Rusol scored Ukraine's winner in the 80th minute


Henry celebrates France's second goal at the Stade de France.

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