Soccer-France overturn 2-0 deficit to reach World Cup finals


By Julien Pretot

PARIS, Nov 19 (Reuters) - France came back from the brink to overpower Ukraine 3-0 in a thrilling playoff return match to qualify for the 2014 World Cup with a 3-2 aggregate victory on Tuesday.

Oleg Gusev put through his own net in the 72nd minute after Mamadou Sakho had put Les Bleus ahead with his first international goal in the 22nd and Karim Benzema was on target 12 minutes later.

Ukraine, who won the first leg in Kiev 2-0 on Friday, were reduced to 10 men when Yevhen Khacheridi was sent off for a second bookable offence two minutes into the second half.

It was Ukraine's fourth failed attempt at qualifying for the finals via the playoffs after missing out in 1998, 2002 and 2010. (Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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