France got their Euro 2012 warm-up off to a winning start as they saw off Iceland in Valenciennes to extend their unbeaten run to 19 games.
They certainly didn’t make it easy for themselves, however, having to fight back from two goals down to end the game as 3-2 victors thanks to a late goal from Valencia’s Adil Rami.
Despite early domination from Les Bleus, they were unable to find a way past Lars Lagerback’s side and Karim Benzema’s neat finish on 11 minutes was chalked off for offside as he looked to add to his 13 international goals.
Iceland took a shock lead on 27 minutes after good work from Kolbeinn Sigthórsson saw the ball fall to Birkir Bjarnason in the box on the right and with left-back Patrice Evra nowhere to be seen, he was able to find the net with a fierce shot.
Not content with their one-goal lead, Iceland went two up on 33 minutes when Rurik Gislason found space on the right to cross into Sigthórsson, who converted past Steve Mandanda to make it 2-0.
Despite pressure on the Iceland defence, with Benzema going close on a couple of occasions, the 14/1-rated visitors went into the beak with their lead fully intact as they looked for their first win in 12 games.
France found their way back into the game seven minutes after the break when Benzema’s shot on goal deflected out to right-back Mathieu Debuchy at the far post and the Lille man kept his composure to tuck the ball past Hannes Thór Halldórsson.
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Despite Debuchy’s intervention, Laurent Blanc’s side still looked to be heading for an embarrassing defeat, but they broke Icelandic hearts as they drew level with just six minutes remaining.
Substitute Franck Ribery was set up by another replacement, Ligue 1 top scorer Olivier Giroud, whose pass through to the Bayern Munich man enabled him to make it 2-2.
With the visitors rocking, France poured forward and grabbed a dramatic winner on 87 minutes.
Giroud was once again involved as his header found its way to Rami, whose first-time finish gave Blanc’s side victory after trailing at half-time – an eventuality which had been priced at a massive 40/1 prior to the game.
France face Serbia in the second of their three Euro 2012 warm-up games and tackle England in their opening group game, with Les Bleus priced at 33/20 to see off Roy Hodgson’s side in his first competitive match at the helm.
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