World Cup qualifiers: Brazil beat Colombo, France draw against Belarus

Barysaw [Belarus], Sept.7 : France made a shaky start to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, as they were held to a frustrating goalless draw against Belarus here at Borisov Arena on Wednesday.

Striker Olivier Giroud, midfielder Antoine Griezmann and defender Raphael Varane went close to finding the net for the 2016 Euro finalists, but they failed to make a breakthrough against the side, who are sitting 63 places below them in the FIFA rankings.

It was the hosts who came close first to break the deadlock during the first half when Nikolai Signevich failed to convert Timofei Kalachev's superb pass from the right into a goal.

France, however, managed to respond quickly by creating a decent chance to score in the 35th minute, but Giroud completely miscued his attempted volley, reported.

Elsewhere in that group, Sweden settled to a 1-1 draw against Netherlands in their opening group match.

In Group H, former Everton boss Roberto Martinez won his first competitive match as Belgium manager with a 3-0 victory over Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Brazil kicked off their campaign on a winning note as they registered a 2-1 victory over Colombia, thanks to Neymar for his decisive 74th-minute goal.

It was defender Miranda who opened the scoring for Brazil in the second minute before Marquinhos struck a goal in his own net in the 36th minute to help Colombo level the score.

Neymar, however, came to his side's rescue by converting Coutinho's pass into a goal..

Source: ANI