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Varane fires France to victory

Varane fires France to victory
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Thanks to a late header from Rafael Varane, France nipped a 1-0 victory over Sweden in an international friendly at Stade Velodrome, Marseille. The French captain rose high at the near post to head in a corner from Antoine Griezmann in 83rd minute and secured a victory for Didier Deschamp’s men on Tuesday.

Three minutes later, Varane’s Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema had an opportunity to double the lead with a penalty after Oscar Wendt committed a handball in the box, but the striker blazed the ball over the crossbar. ‘I am very happy to finish the calendar year on a good note. To be captain, it is the cherry on top of the cake, but what matters is the team,’ said Varane, who took the captain’s armband as regular national skipper Hugo Lloris sat out Tuesday’s match. Benzema admitted he’s disappointed after missing the penalty but felt happy with the result. ‘On the penalty, I wanted to hit the ball hard.

I’m disappointed but what’s important is the win,’ he said. With their all-time leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic again sitting on the sidelines, Sweden, who conceded a late equaliser in an Euro 2016 qualifier away to Montenegro Saturday, came out toothless in attack and saw France dominating most of the contest. Goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson prevented Erik Hamren’s side from conceding more goals before Les Bleus added to friendly wins over Spain, Portugal and Armenia this season.
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