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World Cup qualifying

Robben's hopes fade, Tolisso and Coman on track

Arjen Robben and the Netherlands have only slim hopes of making it to the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia despite a 3-1 victory over Belarus on Saturday evening. The Dutchmen are lying third in Group A and need a seven-goal win over Sweden to topple them from second place and advance to the play-offs.

Skipper Robben invited Davy Proepper to put the Elftal in front midway through the first half. Maksim Wolodko levelled the scores after the restart, but Robben restored the lead from the spot before Memphis Depay closed out the meeting in injury time. "We have to try everything in the last match because we're pros, but it's going to be very, very difficult," commented Robben.

France beat Bulgaria

Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman are on track in their qualifying campaign. France's 1-0 victory away to Bulgaria means The Equipe Tricolore lead Group A one point clear of Sweden, who downed Luxembourg 8-0. Two minutes had been played in Sofia when Blaise Matuidi scored the match-winner. Tolisso played the full 90 minutes, whereas Coman failed to get off the bench. Les Bleus face Belarus in Paris on Tuesday, and another victory would take them to the 2018 World Cup.