Loic Remy

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Newcastle United's French stars have it all to do in the second leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off against Ukraine, after suffering a 2-0 first-leg defeat on Friday night.

Striker Loic Remy and full-back Mathieu Debuchy were both handed starts for Les Bleus in Kiev, but it was the underdog hosts who had the better of proceedings and grabbed an advantage thanks to goals from Roman Zozulya and Andriy Yarmolenko.

Following a goalless first half, Ukraine broke the deadlock just past the hour mark when front man Zozulya fired under Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

And they gained some breathing space seven minutes from time as Yarmolenko converted from the penalty spot.

Magpies' midfielder Moussa Sissoko was a second-half substitute, replacing Remy after 68 minutes, while Yohan Cabaye remained on the bench throughout.

The second leg takes place in Paris on Tuesday night, with France needing an emphatic home win if they are to overturn the deficit and secure a place in next summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Elsewhere, United goalkeeper Rob Elliot was an unused substitute as Republic of Ireland comfortably beat Latvia 3-0 in friendly action in Dublin.

And young midfielder Haris Vuckic played the full 90 minutes for Slovenia Under-21s but could not prevent them slipping to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Russia.