Ribery lifts France into second spot

Franck Ribery was France’s hero for the second time in five days against Lithuania, his second-half winner in Paris tonight lifting Les Bleus into second place in World Cup qualifying Group Seven.

The Bayern Munich wideman was France’s goalscorer in their 1-0 victory in Kaunas on Saturday and he came to their rescue again here, tapping home in the 75th minute just when it seemed the Lithuanians were going to hold out for a draw.

The result lifts the French above their vanquished opponents and to within two points of pool leaders Serbia, with all three countries now halfway through their qualification campaign.

Erwin Hoffer scored twice to give Austria a 2-1 win over Romania in the group’s other game.

The striker bagged goals in the 25th and 44th minutes after Cristian Tanase had given the visitors the lead.

Both sides seem unlikely to qualify, however, as Austria are fourth – on seven points – and Romania fifth with four points.

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