7 Sep 2008

France embarrassed in World Cup qualifier

11:33 am on 7 September 2008

The French football side has been humbled 3-1 in Austria as Europe's big guns began their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaigns.

It's the only major upset on a day when holders Italy snatched a 2-1 stoppage-time win in Cyprus, European champions Spain edged Bosnia 1-0, Germany crushed Liechtenstein 6-0 and England were booed before beating Andorra 2-0.

France needed a positive start after the debacle of failure to survive the group stage at the European Championship in June.

World champions Italy made a stuttering start as Marcello Lippi began a second term in charge of the Azzurri, having steered them to 2006 World Cup glory over France.

Former Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque began his reign as coach of Spain with a home victory in Group Five against Bosnia, courtesy of David Villa's second half strike.

The Germans were far more convincing in their Group Four demolition of Liechtenstein, helped by two goals from Lukas Podolski either side of halftime.

England, with Italian coach Fabio Capello kicking off his first international qualifying campaign, ambled to victory against tiny Andorra in Barcelona in Group Six, although the travelling England fans booed the team at halftime.