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France coach Didier Deschamps feels his men could spring a few surprises in Brazil after beating Ukraine in the play-offs to qualify for the World Cup.
There was doom and gloom surrounding Les Bleus after their first leg defeat as no European team had ever overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit to reach the World Cup finals.
But the 1998 winners looked up for the battle right from the first whistle and were rewarded for their efforts when Mamadou Sakho gave them the lead on 22 minutes at the Stade de France to half the aggregate deficit.
Karim Benzema then levelled up the tie with a controversial 34th-minute strike, as the Real Madrid man appeared to be in an offside position when he scored.
Things got even tougher for the visitors when Yevhen Khacheridi was sent off for a second yellow card just two minutes into the second half and an Oleh Husyev own goal in the 72nd minute ensured that France made history and secured their place at the South American showpiece.
Deschamps was understandably delighted with the outcome and admitted that he was always confident that his men would do the business.
“This is the magic of football,” he told TF1. “Four days ago, we were in a bad position but the players were fantastic tonight.
“I didn’t have doubts but we played a huge match and this qualification is very important for French football.”
The French will not be among the favourites to lift the trophy in Brazil next summer, with the likes of Spain, Germany and the hosts all seemingly stronger, but Deschamps feels his charges are now “capable of some great things.”