Karim Benzema's second-half introduction proved crucial as goals from him and Kylian Mbappe denied Finland a chance of being at the Qatar World Cup next year.
After a drab first half, at the end of which Finland were in position to finish second in Group D, news came in on the hour mark of a goal from Ukraine in Bosnia & Herzegovina which then had the hosts needing a goal.
Worse was to follow shortly afterwards when Benzema, only on the pitch for 10 minutes, exchanged passes with Mbappe before firing at goal where Leo Vaisanen unwittingly lifted the ball over his goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.
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The game was then put beyond doubt 14 minutes from time when Mbappe received the ball just inside the Finland half on the left flank and, as only he can, raced towards goal before curling an unstoppable effort inside the far post.
France finish Group D unbeaten on top with 18 points, with Ukraine second with 12 points and into the play-offs, and Finland a further point adrift.


It is hard to believe that just a few months ago Kurt Zouma was on the bench as France conceded three before going out for the European Championships on penalties. In the last two games where France have barely been threatened by their opponents, a good deal of the reason for this is the presence of the West Ham defender who at 27, after years of promise, is now establishing himself as one of the best defenders around.
Perhaps it needed Raphael Varane's injury for him to establish himself as the key figure in the French defence, but there can be little doubt now that whether the Manchester United defender can recover from his ACL injury and find form ahead of the tournament in Qatar, he will come in alongside Zouma and not at his expense.


There was little goal threat before he came on. Within a couple of minutes he had forced the first save of note from Lukas Hradecky and in his 10th minute on the pitch he scored the winner. While Mbappe is the flashier, dynamic and arguably all-round better player, Benzema seems to make the French forward play tick. Immediately the passes between midfield and attack were slicker and his movement in central areas allowed Mbappe to drift to the wing where he prefers to do damage.


Finland: Hradecky 6; Uronen 6, Ivanov 6, L. Vaisanen 6, O'Shaughnessy 6, Hamalainen 6; Kamara 6, Schuller 7, Nissila 6; Lod 7; Pukki 6. Subs: Forss 6, Taylor 6, Valakari 6, Phjanpalo 6.
France: Lloris 6; Dubois 6, Kounde 6, Upamecano 7, Zouma 7, Digne 6; Rabiot 6, Tchouameni 7; Griezmann 6; Diaby 6, Mbappe 7. Subs: Pavard 6, Benzema 8*, Coman 6.


66' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Benzema has put France in front. He played a one-two with Mbappe who backheeled into his path and then the Real Madrid striker's shot was deflected over the diving keeper by Vaisanen.
76' GOAL FOR FRANCE! Mbappe scores and it is quite a goal. Getting a pass just inside the Finland half, he races down the left flank skinning Vaisanen before turning his body goalwards at the edge of the box and curling an effort inside the far post.
80' Another great effort from Mbappe which Hradecky saves well diving to his right.


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