Skip to main content

France hit back to secure draw in Romania

  • Story Highlights
  • France come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Romania in Group 7
  • Yoann Gourcuff sets up first goal and scores French equalizer
  • France coach Raymond Domenech under pressure for his job
  • Serbia beat Lithuania 3-0 to top group with six points
  • Next Article in World Sport »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- France threw coach Raymond Domenech a lifeline by battling back to secure a 2-2 draw against Romania in their World Cup qualifying match in Constanta on Saturday night.

Romania looked set for victory after taking a two-goal lead but France hit back.

The home side led the Group 7 match 2-0 after just 17 minutes and the future looked bleak for Domenech whose fate will be decided by the French football federation in the next few days.

The omens were not good from the start with midfielder Patrick Vieira prevented from taking his place when suffering a calf muscle injury during the warmup.

Florentin Petre and Dorin Goian put Romania ahead as France's weak defense was again exposed, but Franck Ribery took a pass from Yoann Gourcuff to pull a goal back in the 36th.

Gourcuff equalized for France with his first international goal with a spectacular dipping shot from 35 meters in the 69th minute.

Ribery could have won the match but shot narrowly wide in the 82nd minute.

Domenech paid tribute to Gourcuff for his efforts that may help save his job.

"It was a quality goal, but it was logical that the goal would come," Domenech said.

"Well done to the whole team for what they did in the second half. With all that happened this week, with all the problems we had, I am really proud of them."

Both Romania and France have four points from three matches, while Serbia and Lithuania have six points each.

Earlier on Saturday, Branislav Ivanovic scored in the opening moments as Serbia beat Lithuania 3-0 in Belgrade.

Ivanovic headed in corner kick from Nenad Milias in the sixth minute, and Milos Krasic made it 2-0 in the 34th with a powerful half-volley that slotted under the crossbar.

Nikola Zigic scored the last goal with a diving header after a perfect cross from substitute Bosko Jankovic in the 81st.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print