Debutant Mathieu Valbuena lent weight to his World Cup claims with a late winner as France continued their World Cup build-up by battling to victory against Costa Rica. The South American side took a shock lead through Carlos Hernandez and, though Franck Ribery quickly levelled, an inspired goalkeeping display from Keylor Navas looked set to secure a draw. But substitute Valbuena found a way through from long range as Raymond Domenech,s side deservedly emerged victorious. After early French pressure, Sidney Govou forced Navas to parry his shot around the post but Florent Malouda,s corner came to nothing. And Costa Rica struck against the run of play in the 11th minute when midfielder Hernandez,s low 25-yard strike beat keeper Steve Mandanda and nestled in the bottom corner. France responded with a Ribery drive which Navas blocked, before Yoann Gourcuff sent an ambitious 35-yard free-kick goalwards. Navas was equal to that 21st-minute effort, but he could do nothing a minute later when Jeremy Toulalan played in Ribery to slot the ball left-footed across the keeper and inside the far post. Bryan Ruiz saw a long-range effort tipped over by Mandanda before Gourcuff shot over from 20 yards. The visitors went close to restoring their lead as Michael Barrantes swung in a left-wing corner to the centre of the penalty area, where Ruiz rose highest to head against the crossbar. Ticos striker Josue Martinez departed with a serious-looking injury to be replaced by Winston Parks, and Navas made another sharp save from Ribery just before half-time. France defender William Gallas had been handed a starting berth as he sought to prove his fitness following a calf injury, but was replaced by Sebastien Squillaci at the interval. Gourcuff was to the fore early in the second half, firing a warning shot wide from 20 yards before a second effort from much further out was tipped over by Navas. Another half-time substitute, Thierry Henry, then failed to find the target from within the six-yard box before the impressive Navas tipped another Gourcuff drive around the post. Valbuena replaced Govou and soon shot wide from 18 yards, and Navas denied Squillaci from close range after Gourcuff,s corner was not cleared. Parks and Randall Azofeifa threatened from distance for the South American side, with Henry seeing an effort blocked by Gonzalo Segares in between times. But Valbuena made the crucial impact with seven minutes remaining when he was teed up by Abou Diaby and drove the ball low beyond Navas from 25 yards. Andre-Pierre Gignac replaced Ribery and twice threatened to add a third as France comfortably saw the game out France enetered in to the FIFA World Cup 2010 and will play their first match against Uruguay on June 12, 2010. But this time France playing with out their star player Zinedine Zidane, who is the member of 1998 world cup winning team and in the last world cup his performance made the France in reaching to Final. France played with most of their starting players back then, including Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka to estimate the playters fitness and strengths. Costa Rica narrowly missed out on qualification for the 2010 World Cup. They are completely changed after the last match against France. In the last five matches Costa Rica with only one win, 2-L, 2-D where as France with three wins, 1-L and 1-D. in the last match France played against another World Cup qualifier Spain and lost with 0-2. Costa Rica played their last match against Argentina and lost with 2-3.Hugo Lloris Olympique Lyonnais Steven Mandanda Olympique de Marseille Cedric Carrasso Girondins de Bordeaux Mickael Landreau Lille Defenders - Rod Fanni Stade Rennais Patrice Evra Manchester United (ENG) Eric Abidal Barcelona (ESP) Adil Rami Lille William Gallas Arsenal (ENG) Sebastien Squillaci Sevilla (ESP) Bacary Sagna Arsenal (ENG) Anthony Reveillere Olympique Lyonnais Marc Planus Girondins de Bordeaux Gael Clichy Arsenal (ENG) Midfielders - Alou Diarra Girondins de Bordeaux Lassana Diarra Real Madrid (ESP) Jeremy Toulalan Olympique Lyonnais Franck Ribery Bayern Munich (GER) Yoann Gourcuff Girondins de Bordeaux Florent Malouda Chelsea (ENG) Yann M,Vila Stade Rennais Abou Diaby Arsenal (ENG) Forwards - Thierry Henry Barcelona (ESP) Nicolas Anelka Chelsea (ENG) Djibril Cisse Panathinaikos (GRE) Sidney Govou Olympique Lyonnais Hatem Ben Arfa Olympique de Marseille Mathieu Valbuena Olympique de Marseille Jimmy Briand Stade Rennais Andre-Pierre Gignac Toulouse


 
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