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Socceroos boss Frank Farina
"It's wonderful to beat the world champions"
 real 14k

Friday, 1 June, 2001, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Australia stun France
Clayton Zane is congratulated by his team-mates
Goalscorer Zane is mobbed by his team-mates
Australia 1-0 France

Australia pulled off the shock of the Confederations Cup so far with an excellent victory over world champions France.

Roger Lemerre's experimental France side were undone as much by a gutsy Australian display as by Frank Leboeuf.

Leboeuf headed wide in front of an open goal and gave away the free-kick which led to Clayton Zane's goal.

And the French defender may well have sealed the end to his international career after he was sent off for a second bookable offence.

France must now win against Mexico in their final group match to make sure of their passage to the semi-finals or face the prospect of an embarrassing exit from the competition.

Lemerre fielded a completely changed side to the one which demolished South Korea in the tournament's curtain-raiser.

  Key moments
44 mins: France's Frank Leboeuf heads wide from six yards out
60 mins:Clayton Zane follows up rebound to score for Australia
63 mins: Frederic Nee's scores only to have goal disallowed for offside
78 mins: Leboeuf is sent off for second bookable offence

He combined youth with experience, handing debuts to five of France's up and coming players.

Among those were Zoumana Camara, who looked impressive in defence, and striker Frederic Nee.

But Australia, buoyed by their 2-0 win over Mexico on Wednesday, were by no means in awe of the World Cup holders.

Frank Farina's team succeeded where South Korea had failed - they managed to stop France from any having any decent shots on goal.

Nee, top scorer in France's domestic league, had two good chances.

The first he fired high, while the second - which appeared goalbound - was headed away by Australia defender Craig Moore.

Although the Australians were content to sit back and soak up the pressure, they did press forward on the break.

France defender Frank Leboeuf
Leboeuf: To blame for France's defeat

Their best effort, however, came courtesy of a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area in the 21st minute.

Stan Lazaridis's shot found its way through the French wall but keeper Gregory Coupet - another debutant - gathered well.

As the first half drew to a close, Leboeuf was guilty of a glaring miss.

He somehow managed to put his free header wide of the Australian goal from only six-yards out.

Lemerre opted to stick with the same starting 11 after the interval.

And Nee almost gave France the lead after 53 minutes, his glancing header going just wide.

But it was Australia who unexpectedly grabbed the first and only goal of the game.

Leboeuf was again the villain - this time in defence - as he clumsily brought down his Australian opponent.

Australia's Josip Skoko took the resulting free-kick which Coupet did well to tip onto the post.

France's Olivier Dacourt tracked by Australia's Clayton Zane
Dacourt failed to command midfield

But he could do nothing to stop Zane's follow-up as the French defence failed to react quickly enough.

Australia deserved to be in the lead for all their endeavour, although they were made to sweat when Nee looked to have got the equaliser for France.

Fortunately for them his effort was disallowed after Sylvain Wiltord had strayed into an offside position.

Leboeuf's miserable game finally came to an end when he made an unnecessary tackle on goal-scorer Zane and received his second yellow card.

Australia keeper Mark Schwarzer pulled off an amazing last-gasp save to preserve his team's lead as the Socceroos held on to record a famous victory over the French.


Australia: Schwarzer, Muscat, Moore, Okon, Tony Vidmar, Popovic, Skoko, Lazaridis, Emerton, Corica, Zane. Subs: Aloisi, Zdrilic, Bolton, Bresciano, Murphy, Foxe, Horvat, Chipperfield, Aureilo Vidmar, Thompson, Scerjovski, Juric.

France: Coupet, Gillet, Camara, Leboeuf, Brechet, Dacourt, Djorkaeff, Karembeu, Nee, Robert, Wiltord. Subs: Rame, Sagnol, Lizarazu, Vieira, Pires, Desailly, Anelka, Carriere, Silvestre, Marlet, Dugarry, Landreau.

Referee: C Batres (Guatemala)

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