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World Cup

Payet gets winner as France mark anniversary of attacks

Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet scored as France fought back to beat Sweden 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday that was marked by tributes to the victims of last year's Paris terror attacks.

Dimitri Payet celebrates after he scored against Sweden.
BENOIT TESSIER REUTERS

Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet scored as France fought back to beat Sweden 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday that was marked by tributes to the victims of last year's Paris terror attacks.

Emil Forsberg had put Sweden in front from a free-kick early in the second half at the Stade de France in a meeting of the top two teams in Group A in European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

But Pogba headed in the equaliser in the 58th minute and Payet profited from a goalkeeping error to score the winner and allow Les Bleus to move three points clear of Sweden at the top of the section.

France's Paul Pogba celebrates after he scored against Sweden.

France's Paul Pogba celebrates after he scored against Sweden.

Paying tribute

It was a pleasing result for France on a poignant evening that saw a minute's silence held in memory of the victims of the terror attacks that struck the French capital, and the Stade de France, almost exactly a year ago.

France were playing Germany in a friendly on Friday November 13, 2015 when three suicide bombers blew themselves up immediately outside the ground.

A 63-year-old man, Manuel Dias, was killed by one of the explosions at the beginning of a night of terror around Paris that killed 130 people and injured many more.

French president Francois Hollande was there to pay tribute in a capacity crowd of 80,000 at Friday's match, which was played on a national holiday to mark the day that ended the First World War in 1918.

France's players celebrate at the end of the 2018 World Cup group A qualifying football match.

The French team featured many of those who had played in that game against Germany, including Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, recalled in attack in place of Kevin Gameiro.

France are next in qualifying action in Luxembourg in late March, although they play the Ivory Coast in a friendly in Lens next Tuesday.