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Sunday, Jul 12th

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Paul Pogba's long-range strike gave European Championship runners-up France a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifying Group A match in Amsterdam.

Jeffrey Bruma's loose pass was intercepted by Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny in the 31st minute who quickly fed Pogba. Captain Kevin Strootman gave the Manchester United star far too much time and space and Pogba unleashed a powerful drive from 30 meters that Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg could only deflect on its way into the back of the net.

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France football team captain Hugo Lloris believes Paul Pogba's slow start in the new season can be put down to his exertions at last summer's European championship.

"There are a lot of players who played in the European Championship and are experiencing physical difficulties at this moment," the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper told media ahead of France's visit to the Netherlands for a 2018 World Cup qualifier on Monday.

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Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to a 6-0 demolition of Andorra in the second round of European football qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. Ronaldo, whose last international appearance was in Portugal's victory over France in the 2016 Euro Cup final, scored twice in the first three minutes on Friday.

The Real Madrid superstar added a brace in the second half and Joao Cancelo and Andre Silva contributed a goal each to complete the rout.

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Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte was called up for the first time by the French national team for the matches against Bulgaria and Holland in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. France coach Didier Deschamps announced the list on Thursday for the next two games of the qualifiers.

The coach denied that the call for Laporte was in response to the possibility that the defender could opt for the Spanish national team, adding that he has been following the player for a while.

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Euro Cup finalists France have made a stuttering start to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign as they were held to a goalless draw by Belarus in Borisov.

Belarus started off on a strong note and played some solid football in the first half by not allowing the French players to penetrate their backline. They also moved to threaten Deschamps' team with some counter attacking football.

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For the first time in international football, video refereeing will be tried in a friendly match between Italy and France in Bari on September 1.

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France's Head Coach Didier Deschamps has called up Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, while also naming Sebastien Corchia for the first time for the next two international football matches.

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