Late Giroud goal breaks Spanish hearts

A late Olivier Giroud header was enough to give France a 1-1 draw against Spain at Vicente Calderon.

The Arsenal striker cancelled out Sergio Ramos' first half effort, as second half pressure from France culminated in Les Bleus scoring with the last kick of the game.

As Vicente del Bosque's side started with six recognised midfielders, it was perhaps no surprise that La Roja began the match with the majority of the possession.

Xavi and Andres Iniesta were producing their typically metronomic passes, but were initially unable to break down the French resistance.

25 minutes gone, and still the home side had a complete monopoly of the ball. It wasn't though, until a set-piece came their way, that Spain eventually opened the scoring.

A corner from Xavi went to Sergio Ramos, who could only hit the post with his initial header. The Real Madrid man pounced on the rebound though, a poked it into the net.

Didier Deschamps' side did trouble Iker Casillas' however, late on in the half. First Karim Benzema an his effort turned around the post by his Los Blancos teammate, and then Jeremy Menez had a header ruled out for offside.

Those missed chances almost came back to haunt Les Bleus as Pedro was brought down by Laurent Koscielny inside the penalty area. Cesc Fabregas though, had his spot kick saved by Hugo Lloris.

Del Bosque's men continued to dominate after the interval, with substitute Juanfran and Jordi Alba providing most of the attacking impetus down both flanks.

As with the opening 45 though, the visitors were dangerous on the break, and could have levelled proceeding on the hour mark, but Franck Ribery's strike from the edge of the area was tipped wide.

Slowly, the French started to impose themselves on the game as Mathieu Valbuena was brought on to feed the likes of Benzema and Ribery.

Deschamps' men were really ratcheting up the pressure by now. The Bayern Munich winger, in particular, was causing the Spanish backline all sorts of problems, but it was the final ball that was missing from any forays forward.

And that pressure paid dividends in the very last minute as Ribery crossed for Giroud, who headed home from eight yards out, to level the scoreline.

Spain 1-1 France

Scorers: Ramos 25 (S); Giroud 90 (F)

Spain: Casillas; Arbeloa (Juanfran 49), Busquets, Ramos, Alba; Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Iniesta (Torres 76); Silva (Cazorla 14), Fabregas, Pedro

France: Lloris; Debuchy, Sakho, Koscielny, Sakho, Evra; Gonalons (Valbuena 57), Matuidi, Cabaye; Ribery, Benzema (Giroud 88), Menez (Sissoko 68)

Penalty miss: Fabregas 42 (S)

Tags 2014 World Cup France Spain
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