"There was a bit of tiredness and fragility because a lot was at stake", Deschamps said. I'm lucid enough to see we didn't control the game in Bulgaria.
After a bright start underlined by goals from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud, Les Bleus appeared to tire in the second half as the exertions of two matches in four days showed following a 1-0 win against Bulgaria in Sofia on Saturday.
It's a crucial match for the French, with a sure first place spot and World Cup berth clinched with the win. But dropped points to Luxembourg and Sweden over the last two worldwide match periods mean that they have just a one-point lead over the Swedes, and France has no room for error if they want to avoid a qualification playoff.
But a month later Emil Kostadinov scored a last minute victor at the Parc des Princes to give Bulgaria a 2-1 win and send them, just one point ahead of France, to the World Cup.
"Every team struggle against sides who play compact behind". Hence it is predicted that in today's match, France will gain victory against Belarus. "Sweden had won just before, it was important to win here", said Matuidi. "I haven't had time to analyse our potential opponents, but I know they all have competitive teams". "The fans will be right behind us, as was already the case when we played the Netherlands in the stadium". Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had little to do until the 37th minute when he was called into action twice in a matter of seconds.
The home side suffered a blow as Chelsea enforcer N'Golo Kante was ruled out of the vital clash after suffering an injury against the Bulgarians. It turned into a niggly and at times bad-tempered affair with little quality and even fewer chances on show.