Giroud Scores 2 As France Thrashes Australia 6-0

It’s satisfying to see them playing like this.” It was a far cry from the insipid performance during last month’s 0-0 draw away to Georgia and the woeful first half against Belarus, where France was in total disarray and trailed 1-0 before responding with four second-half goals. In recent years, France has often been jeered by its home fans at matches. But on Friday night, the hard-to-please crowd rose to their feet at Parc des Princes to applaud them off the pitch after a feast of attacking football. “People want to be thrilled and to feel sensations,” Deschamps said. There was another welcome sight: Karim Benzema scoring again for the first time since June last year. After ending his 15-match run without a France goal, Benzema was quick to play it down. “I knew it wouldn’t last 10 years. But once again, the most important thing is the team, not me,” the Real Madrid striker said. “It had been a while. I’m very happy but it’s not just about my goal. You have to talk about the match, how spectacular it was. If it was 6-0 then that’s down to the whole team.” Benzema remains under pressure, however, and in the last two games has lost his starting place to Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, who scored twice and led the line brilliantly against the Australians with his touch and link play.

France charges Al-Qaeda suspect deported from Pakistan

Giroud got his first of the night eight minutes later. He was off balance and the ball was slightly behind him when he received Ribery’s pass, but he showed great technique to delicately clip a curling shot over Langerak’s head for his fourth international goal. He got his fifth 10 minutes later, neatly side-footing the ball past Langerak after Ribery and Nasri had carved open Australia’s defense with one-touch passing and Nasri pulled the ball back perfectly from the left. Australia was in total disarray as France poured forward in a blur of pass and move that must have had Deschamps smiling from the sidelines and Cabaye made it 4-0 with only 30 minutes played. “We made the game easy because we were efficient and created chances,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “We played with a lot of fluidity. We put them under pressure all the time.” This time, Nasri played Ribery into space and he showed great awareness to pick out Cabaye’s late run to the edge of the area. Cabaye did not even break stride as he struck a superb shot into the bottom corner. Benzema replaced Giroud at the start of the second half. France took only three minutes to score again, with Ribery’s cross poorly cleared by the defense and landing at the feet of Debuchy, who hit a crisp shot into the left corner for his second international goal. Benzema pounced four minutes later and applauded the crowd as they chanted his name. “I’m pleased for him,” Deschamps said. “He needed it.” He should have scored another midway through the half but Loic Remy scuffed a shot wide rather than pass across goal to give Benzema a tap-in.

View gallery French commandoes stand guard outside the National Police College in Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or, on October 15, 2012 (AFP Photo/Philippe Desmazes) Paris (AFP) – A French-Algerian man suspected of Al-Qaeda ties and deported from Pakistan this week has been charged with terror offences, French judicial officials said on Saturday. Intelligence officials believe Naamen Meziche was once connected to Al-Qaeda’s so-called “Hamburg cell”, which planned the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Deported on Tuesday, he was charged and remanded in custody in Paris on Friday for criminal conspiracy in relation with a terrorist enterprise, with a view to carrying out criminal acts, the source said. Meziche had been in Pakistani custody since being arrested in May 2012 in the southwest of the country along with three other suspected French jihadis, who were sent back to France in April and charged on the same count. Born in Paris in 1970, Meziche left France in the early 1990s for Afghanistan, then Germany where he is alleged to have come into close contact with the “Hamburg Cell”. He has been known to intelligence officials for more than a decade, though he has no criminal record in Europe. French law gives authorities broad powers to detain and prosecute a suspect for intending to carry out terrorist acts or contacting organisations suspected of terrorism. Though Meziche is suspected of being a long-time Al-Qaeda member, no proof has yet emerged of his involvement in any specific act of terror, and security officials are divided about how big a player he is. One French anti-terror officer told AFP this week Meziche was “a big fish — right in the… heart of Al-Qaeda”. But another source close to the case said it was “hard to say if he is an active player or a bit of a has-been”. Crime & Justice Israeli army says it found tunnel dug from Gaza to Israel, believes Hamas planned attack ABC News Beijing (AFP) – While US politicians grapple with how to reopen their shuttered government and avoid a potentially disastrous default on their debt, the world should consider ‘de-Americanising’, a commentary on China’s official news agency said Sunday. AFP NEW YORK (AP) After 20 years, it’s possible for the details of a relationship to get fuzzy.