Arsenal striker Giroud scores for France in Spain draw

Olivier Giroud netted deep into injury time to give France a point in their World Cup qualification match with world and European champions Spain, the Guardian has reported. The Arsenal striker entered the match as a late substitute for Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.

Sergio Ramos had initially put the hosts in front in the match played at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium, the Real Madrid defender converting after Hugo Lloris, the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, pushed a Pedro cross into his path. Only seconds earlier, Ramos had hit the post with a header from a Xavi Hernandez corner.

Spain also spurned a penalty, taken by Cesc Fabregas and saved by Lloris, while France had a goal from Jeremy Menez ruled out for offside, wrongly so according to the Guardian. The first-half ended with Spain holding a slender lead.

The advantage was maintained until the dying seconds of the contest when Giroud converted a cross from Franck Ribery to give the 1998 World Cup winners a point and end Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ run of seven consecutive clean sheets in competitive games. It is also the first time in 25 games that Spain have not won a qualification match, and leaves the sides level on points in Group I.

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