PARIS, FRANCE (NOVEMBER 19, 2013) (FRENCH FOOTBALL FEDERATION) - France came back from the brink to overcome 10-man Ukraine 3-0 in a thrilling playoff return match and qualify for the 2014 World Cup with a 3-2 aggregate victory on Tuesday (November 19).
The home team made an aggressive start with Valbuena's low shot being deflected for a corner as Ukraine struggled to contain wave after wave of French attacks.
Ukraine had not conceded a goal in their eight previous matches.
The in-form Pyatov also palmed Valbuena's rising shot over the bar as Ukrainelooked set to crack.
Benzema was fortunate with the second goal, clearly standing in an offside position when he fired home from close range following a series of goalmouth ricochets.
France won 3-2 on aggregate
Red card: Yevhen Khacheridi (Ukraine) 47
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovenia)
Substitutes: 16-Steve Mandanda, 23-Mickael Landreau, 9-Olivier Giroud, 11-Samir Nasri, 12-Gael Clichy, 13-Clement Grenier, 15-Bacary Sagna, 17-Dimitri Payet, 18-Moussa Sissoko, 20-Loic Remy, 21-Rio Mavuba, 22-Eric Abidal
Ukraine: 12-Andriy Pyatov; 16-Vitaliy Mandziuk, 3-Yevhen Khacheridi, 20-Yaroslav Rakistkiy, 13-Vyacheslav Shevchuk; 14-Ruslan Rotan, 15-Roman Bezus; 7-Andriy Yarmolenko, 21-Edmar, 10-Yevhen Konoplyanka; 8-Roman Zozulia.
Substitutes: 23-Rustam Khudzhamov, 11-Yevgen Seleznov, 22-Marko Devic, 19-Serhiy Sydorchuk, 4-Anatoliy Tymoschuk, 18-Mykola Moroziuk, 2-Denys Dedechko, 6-Taras Stepanenko, 9-Oleg Gusev, 17-Valeriy Fedorchuk, 5-Dmytro Khomchesnovskyi
Referee: Damir Skomina (Slovakia)