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France scrape through as Faroese frustrate

The FIFA World Rankings have come in for some criticism over the years, and this game between the Faroe Islands annd France further demonstrated why some people feel the concept is flawed. The Faroe Islands currently lie in the 163rd position in the rankings, 154 places below France. Yet, from this performance, you would have thought the gap was a lot smaller. True the Faroese lost 1-0 and will therefore climb no way on the rankings ladder, but the small Scandanavian outfit battled imperiously for ninety minutes and deserve recognition for the way they stifled France.

World Cup and European glory may help France rank as one of the top ten teams in international football, but the Faroe Islands certainly weren’t outplayed or embarresed during the clash


French manager Raymond Domenech’s career will probably be remembered for the amount of criticism he attracted. Domenech doesn’t seem to go a week without some newspaper or magazine slagging off his managerial ability, and thus probably wanted to see his French side stuff the Faroe Islands, just so the media would get off his back for a day or two. However if Domenech knew anything about his opposition, he must have known that a 6-0 drubbing was a highly unlikely result. The Faroe Islands are a tough opposition these days and they are slowly making progress under Brian Kerr. True, they will never reach the French teams level of professionalism and skill, but the small country is beginning to make opposing teams understand their international worth.

They made France value their worth for 42 minutes. France found it tough too break their opposition down and looked as if they would be heading into the break level. However Andre-Pierre Gignac broke into the box and finished neatly, slotting the ball past the Faroese keeper. The Ligue One top scorer finished calmly, unlike most of the other French attacks which were nervy and rash. The team’s final product was poor, and Domenech must have been relieved when Gignac broke the deadlock.

Andre-Pierre Gignac vies with Jonas Naes
Gignac was one of the few French players who impressed

Despite Gagnac breaking the Faroese defense, he had not broken their hearts. Keeper Mikkelsen was in fine form and made a number of impressive saves whilst the minnows went close to scoring on a few occasions; Jann Peterson watched his neat effort land on the top of the French goal and Benjaminsen had a good chance with a header following a French defensive lapse. Unfortunately for the home side he was unable to convert.

France seemed to wake up in the closing stages of the game and could have built on their one-nil advantage; Gignac smashed home a shot which was well saved and Franck Ribery went on a marauding run eventually rolling the ball to Gourcuff. He finished calmly but turned in disappointment to see the offside flag waving high in the air.

Gourcuff’s joy was short lived

The small crowd were denied a Hollywood ending when Jakup Borg’s effort went wide late on, but the home side will be pleased with their performance nevertheless. They have come on great strides under Brian Kerr and the team has a good future ahead. France meanwhile are struggling and their jerky, inconsistent performances have got both the coach, and country, worried.

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