Henry double rescues France

Saint-Denis, October 15:

Thierry Henry scored twice and Karim Benzema earned the other goal for France to rally past Tunisia 3-1 in a friendly football match on Tuesday.

After Issam Jomaa gave Tunisia the lead in the 30th minute with a solo effort, Henry equalised in the 40th and put Les Bleus ahead three minutes after the interval from close range for his 48th international goal.

Benzema profited from a poor clearance to hit a drive from the edge of the penalty area in the 58th.

Midfielder Yoann Gourcuff, who scored the equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Romania in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, improved his fast-growing reputation and was involved in France’s first two goals.

Franck Ribery went close to scoring when his shot from 25 yards flew narrowly past the top right corner in the 39th. Tunisia broke immediately up the other end and Jomaa twisted inside defender Jean-Alain Boumsong and beat goalkeeper Steve Mandanda with a low shot under his body.

Henry headed narrowly wide from Ribery’s cross moments later, but the FC Barcelona striker equalised with a brilliant finish after swapping passes with Gourcuff and curling a shot into the top corner without breaking stride. Gourcuff had also set up Ribery’s goal as France came back from 2-0 down in Romania.

France were without several key players against Tunisia. Patrick Vieira (calf), William Gallas (thigh), Nicolas Anelka (thigh) and Bakary Sagna (knee) were all missing through injury. Rod Fanni made his international debut and Gael Clichy played in only his second match for Les Bleus. The rest of the team was unchanged from Saturday.