Mamadou Sakho’s Goal Helps France Reach 2014 World Cup as Liverpool Players Compete in Final International Games of 2013


APTOPIX France Ukraine Wcup SoccerMamadou Sakho scored and claimed another as France reached the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil after a 3-0 win over Ukraine on Wednesday night.

The Liverpool center-back was recalled to the starting XI after the first leg 2-0 defeat, and produced an inspirational display.

Liverpool’s No. 17 netted the opening goal from a well worked set piece, and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema made it 2-0.

Sakho then claimed the decisive third goal when he appeared to get the final touch and deflect a cross shot into the bottom corner of the net to book the trip to the World Cup finals and spark wild scenes in Paris.

Some reports claim it was Ukraine defender Oleg Gusev who got the final touch, but Sakho is claiming it.

Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson all featured, as England lost 1-0 to Germany at Wembley.

It was a proud night for Gerrard as he equalled 1966 winning World Cup captain Bobby Moore‘s tally of 108 England caps.

The skipper, who went close to scoring with a rasping drive that went just over the bar, played for 55 minutes before making way for Anfield teammate Henderson.

Sturridge led the attack for Roy Hodgson‘s side and played the full game while Glen Johnson was an unused substitute.

There was disappointment for Simon Mignolet who played the full 90 minutes, as Belgium lost 3-2 at home to Japan.

On-loan Pepe Reina appeared as a late substitute for Spain during its 1-0 defeat in South Africa. After replacing Iker Cassilas at half-time, Victor Valdes picked up a knock and Reina replaced him in the 81st minute.

Martin Skrtel‘s Slovakia was held to a goalless draw away to a Gibraltar side making  its European debut.

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