Full-time - 90'
0 - 2
16:00 +00:00, June 15, 2012
Donbass Arena, Ukraine
FULL TIME - the whistle blows and France have deservedly won. Ukraine are still well placed but have a huge game with England to pick themselves up for. Speaking of England, they are moments away from kick off in Kiev, so hop over to join our gamecast right now and I'll see you there.
France knocking the ball about as they countdown to their first win of the tournament. They will go top of the table on four points. England can join them with a win, Sweden can pull level with Ukraine if they were to triumph.
Silence in the stadium apart from a version of La Marseillaise from the small pocket of French fans.
Three minutes added. And if I heard right, this will be France's first win at the Euros without Platini or Zidane. Wow.
Konoplyanka gets into the area but his wild shot goes out for a throw in.
Cabaye scores France's second
Tymoschuk dives in on Martin and is rightly carded. And from the free kick Nasri forces Pyatov into a smart save at his near post.
Decent delivery but a good clearing header from Diarra. Then a Milevskiy shot is deflected up into the air and Lloris claims.
It'd be nice if Ukraine managed a goal, just to give their fans something to shout about. Devic wins a free kick wide right.
The shooting from distance has been atrocious. M'Vila has a crack this time but can't keep it down or get in on target. Apart from that....
France trying to walk the ball in now. Nasri into the box, waits forever, back to Ribery, little cross out towards the opposite flank.
That was truly awful from Aliev. About five yards over the bar from just outside the box.
Milevskiy is caught by a lunging Mexes and Ukraine have a free kick in a good area. This could be the moment.
Giroud has a pop. On that evidence he looks a bit like Chamakh. It went about 20 rows back.
Debuchy body checks Konoplyanka and gets a card. Needless foul really.
So much time for France in midfield now. Ukraine's formation is a bit all over the place.
Ukraine win a corner. Now is the time...
Benzema heads off after a good shift - he set up both goals - and Olivier Giroud is on. Reportedly close to signing for Arsenal.
Good ball in from Gusev but Lloris catches it on the bounce. Sheva couldn't profit.
Menez trots off and Marvin Martin is on.
Ribery smashes the free kick a foot wide. Powerful effort.
Ribery is upended by Khacheridi and France have a dangerous free kick 25 yards out and central.
Great run from Devic as he skips away from Mexes but at the end of it all, he scuffs a shot well wide.
Yarmolenko is off and Oleksandr Aliev replaces him. Ukraine need something to give them a spark here.
Then Yarmolenko darts onto his left foot but the lumbering Milevskiy got in the way of it. Then Cabaye is replaced by Yann M'Vila.
Another disappointing involvement for Konoplyanka as his corner is cleared at the front post. A cardinal sin.
Then Milevskiy gets into the box and wins a corner but France clear, then waste a chance to break. There's a third goal on the way.
France are playing keep ball here and nearly ended it with a stunner from Cabaye! Lots of tiny passes come in and out of Ukraine's box before Cabaye's strike cannons back off the post with Pyatov beaten.
Good movement from Benzema but sadly for him Cabaye's ball isn't quite on the money.
Now Ribery powers onto a loose ball and wins a corner.
Benzema works space for a shot after Nasri drives into Ukraine's half but it is right at Pyatov.
Nearly an opening for Yarmolenko. He and Konoplyanka have been quiet this half.
Artem Milevskiy comes on for Nazarenko.
France can sit back, see what Ukraine have got and pick them off on the counter.
Mind you, all they need is a goal to get the crowd up again and to infuse a few nerves in the French. They are by no means infallible at the back.
A big few minutes for France that and Ukraine are stunned. They fought back against Sweden but they've a mountain to climb now.
GOAL Cabaye makes it 2-0! Donetsk is silenced as Benzema's ball somehow finds its way to Cabaye and he makes the most of the break to slide it past Pyatov.
Selin is carded for a late clip on Rami.
A goal had been coming but Ukraine will rue those two chances they missed prior to the goal. Menez was wasteful in the first half but that was well taken and the game has a different complexion all of a sudden.
GOAL Menez! Finally! Ribery breaks and finds Benzema, he lays off to Menez and he cuts in before applying a lovely finish with his left foot.
More space on offer now and a bit of a mess made of a good counter by Ukraine. Sheva switches play intelligently but Tymoschuk makes an awful mess of it, miscontrolling before blasting over the bar.
Then Shevchenko cuts inside Rami and hammers a shot narrowly wide of the top corner. What a strike. Lively old start to the second half.
Another opening for Menez! An excellent ball inside the last man, who ten slips but Pyatov thwarts Menez yet again!
Shevchenko leads a Ukraine breakout but Gusev feeds him a split second after he'd strayed offside. Bit sloppy all in all.
Neat touches from Ribery, looping the ball over Mikhalik but Menez's back heel doesn't fall for a blue shirt.
Voronin has been canned at half time and Marko Devic has replaced him.
So, an intruiging 45 minutes ahead. Ukraine already have three points in the bank don't forget, while France only have one. If it is a draw and there is a decisive result in the England Sweden game, France could be in a spot of bother. I've a feeling we'll get goals in the second half.
Jeremy Menez fires home but the offside flag was up
And England's team: Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young, Welbeck, Carroll.
The team for the second game are in. Here is Sweden's line up: Sweden team to face England: Isaksson, Granqvist, Mellberg, J Olsson, M Olsson, Svensson, Kallstrom, Larsson, Elm, Ibrahimovic, Elmander.
Well, after two hours straight on commentary, I'm off for a much-needed toilet break. In the mean time, why not have a read of our match preview ahead of England v Sweden later?
HALF TIME - a lively game without too many clear chances. France will have to come out strong in the second half - they need a win here. Ukraine will be happy with this but may pay the price if they settle for a draw too early.
Where's your Menez, Jeremy? He is late on Selin with a studs up tackle. That was a clear yellow card but given that Menez was booked unfairly for his earlier pull back, I'm glad the ref hasn't produced another.
A big cheer goes up as Selin wins a goal kick from Menez. No doubt Ukraine will be the happier at half time should it stay goalless.
Nicely done by Benzema, turning Khacheridi and crossing where Selin hacks clear for a corner.
A presumably now much dryer Mark Lomas in Donetsk: Unreal save by Pyatov to deny Mexes - acrobatically clawed away. Noise in the stadium really is something else. Deafening.
Good game now, as Benzema is fooled by a skiddy bounce and handballs.
Now Menez is booked for fouling Shevchenko as Ukraine tried to break from the corner.
Fabulous save from Pyatov as Mexes rose unchecked to nod powerfully towards the corner. A strong hand palms it over the top.
Ribery nutmegs Gusev and wins a free kick. Clumsy challenge.
Benzema nearly nodded the ball into danger from the corner and as Ukraine rebuild they win another one.
A comedy of errors between Clichy and Lloris as Yarmolenko looked to pounce. The upshot is a corner.
Benzema fouls Khacheridi as he tracks down a ball over the top.
Wonderful from Shevchenko as he controls a long ball over the top perfectly with his head then hammers a shot on goal but Lloris got his angles right and parries the powerful drive away from danger.
Konoplyanka hasn't been in the game much but he cuts in here and has a sight of goal before shanking it miles over the top.
Fine sprint down the left and claims a corner off Gusev but a goal kick is given. Quite wrongly, as the replay shows. Big nick off the defender.
Now Debuchy tries to release Menez but the ball skips off the sodden turf and out for a goal kick.
Another great chance for France! Tymoschuk gives the ball away and Ribery races after it, his cross finds its way to Menez at the back stick who only has Pyatov to beat but the keeper makes a vital save.
Oh dear, Mexcian wave time already? It's so 1980s.
Plenty of digs from range gievn the wet conditions. Not a bad tactic but they need to be struck better than the one Benzema just unloaded. Rather scuffy and easily claimed by Pyatov.
Nazarenko is a lucky boy. He swicthed off by his own byline and Ribery nipped in and laid the ball back for Benzema. Menez gets in his way and takes the ball before firing over from 14 yards. Decent chance.
The crowd enjoyed it though - if the stadium had a roof it would be blown off should they score.
Decent effort from Yarmolenko after he found himself a slice of space but he drags the shot down a little and it was always arching away from goal.
Ukraine's policy is to sit deep and soak up pressure before intercepting possession and breaking quickly.
Nazarenko finds Shevchenko but his early ball across the area for Voronin was read by Mexes who clears.
A bit of lull in the game. Still feels like it has been going on for hours.
It sounds as if England's game has been pushed back 15 mins to an 8pm kick off UK time, 9pm CET.
That's a bit better from Ukraine, who string some neat passes together before they are forced back to Pyativ again.
That was a sign of the fluency France possess. Ribery was so quick to skip away from his marker on the left before picking out a runner, but Menez had gone far too early.
Sublime France move as Ribery cuts in and slips a ball into Menez who finishes neatly ... but he was offside by three yards.
Benzema meets a long cross from Clichy but no-one was in support with him to meet the knock down.
Only some desperate defending is keeping Ukraine in this as Clichy finds Nasri but Gusev slides in to block the ball.
First hint of a threat from Ukraine as Nazarenko feeds Gusev down the right but his cross is cleared by Debuchy.
Yarmolenko makes acomplete meak of a bump from Clichy. The ref sprints over but thankfully doesn't show a yellow card.
Nasri looks for Benzema but he is flagged offside, even though the replay shows he was level. Now Khacheridi holds off Nasri after Ribery's pass. France looking dangerous.
The corner is cleared to Debuchy who tries a curler but Pyatov is right behind it.
More menace from France as they have two over at the back post. Nasri finds Benzema but he cuts inside and then is crowded out by Selin and Khacheridi. Corner.
Now France fail to make the most of a good chance as Ribery finds Benzema but his balance deserts him and the opportunity is gone.
A huge waste for Ukraine as they break up a France move and find Shevchenko but Voronin was in acres of space in the middle and just needed a pass to release him.
My heart fills with joy at being able to flick the game time over to six minutes. The pitch doesn't look too bad actually, as Benzema tests Pyatov with a shot.
We begin again - finally!
And Ukraine are not far behind - greeted by a massive roar of course. Right, football is nearly back on the menu. Hope you enjoyed my desperate attempts at wibble. There was more filling than at a petrol station.
Here come the France team...
Though a lot of fans have sloped back into their seats there is still no sign of the players. Surely they will need to warm up again before we restart?
The referee has conducted a highly scientific test - rolling the ball on the surface once. It didn't stop completely but threw up a load of water.
I'm all for getting the match on but I can't see how the pitch will have recovered sufficiently in the next eight minutes. It is obviously a logistical nightmare to play the game tomorrow but surely UEFA wouldn't want the world to see the game played out in farcical circumstances?
Mark Lomas on Twitter: Fans flooding (excuse pun) back to their seats. Groundsmen working admirably, never have pitchforks been so wildly wielded.
@nickography tweets to @ESPNSoccernet: I don't see what's wrong with a little rain and lightning, teenagers play quidditch in worse situations.
@LimCheeLiang on Twitter: Blanc was complaining about the heat in Donetsk. I bet his prayers were soundly answered..
Luckily there are 730km between Kiev and Donetsk so the storm affecting the Ukraine game surely won't affect the Sweden-England match.
BREAKING - the game will restart at 6pm UK time, so in 17 minutes. Good news but not sure the pitch will be good enough.
'Why does it always rain on me?' is what these fans are probably thinking.
Apparently Laurent Blanc is locked in conversation with Andriy Shevchenko in the tunnel.
There are men with gardening forks prodding the pitch in the Ukraine. I'm sure that will sort this out in not time.
WEATHER UPDATE JUST IN - rain subsiding but lightning persisting. Smatterings of disappointed supporter likely. Pitch probably unplayable.
Not a sight you often see at a major tournament
If the game has to be played tomorrow that would be good news for Sweden and England, meaning their final day opponents have a day less to rest before the deciding games.
If the game had to be settled tonight we have few barometers to go on. France enjoyed 74% possession but committed two fouls. Who would win in that case?
More from the sopping Mark Lomas: The DJ has got a great sense of humour - "Let it rain over me" from Pitbull the latest offering, swiftly following Madness.
If you fancy getting in touch and being a part of this landmark weather commentary - why not Tweet our @ESPNsoccernet account with jokes, general musings, abuse and any questions on whether the clouds hovering aboue the stadium are cumulus or nimbus.
Good gag on Twitter: Lightning did well there. Played France and Ukraine off the park.
There were similar storms at Euro 2008 I seem to remember too, meaning the television pictures were lost for a good 20 minutes during one game. I was conducting live commentary by listening to the radio.
Actually, I can recall a Newcastle match against Barcelona in the Champions League that was abandoned in similar circumstances. That was played the following night, and the Toon Army started singing: "We're supposed to be at home." Airline carriers also put their prices up quick smart, which was rather distasteful.
An update from UEFA, there will be no play before 6pm - so for 35 minutes. Then we expect the match officials to make a decision one way or the other.
For those of us "lucky" enough to be in the UK, our host broadcaster is re-running the England France game. Hmm, I mnight have a little flick around. Maybe Countdown is on?
Interesting to see what happens from here. If the match was delayed for an hour would UEFA push back England's game with Sweden so the two didn't overlap? When will they play tomorrow so as not to clash with the Group A deciders? Oooh questions galore.
Mark Lomas is Tweeting his life away in Donetsk: Rihanna currently singing about a hopeless place over the tannoy. She's spot on there.
Plenty of gags floating around about the break in play, a lot of people pointing out that this is a normal Friday in Scotland. The pitch now looks waterlogged. This could be the shortest live comm in Soccernet history.
And still more!: Most journalists have fled inside & media tribune is getting pretty flooded. I've managed to sneak inside a broadcast booth!
More from our big brave boy in Ukraine, Mark Lomas: Ukraine fans apoplectic, they haven't stopped booing. Surely there can be no complaints though, the rain is ridiculous.
Even if the storm passes quickly, I suspect there will have to be a pitch inspection. The standing water on the field was already affecting the run of the ball and after this monumental load of rain it might well be farcical.
In a huge twist of irony, it is bright and sunny in London. Shame the game isn't being played in Hammersmith.
Here is Mr Lomas on the @ESPNsoccernet Twitter account: Increasingly nervous about touching my screen in case lightning strikes. Who knew sports journalism would be such a dangerous profession!
I've never seen anything like that at a major tournament before but undoubtedly it was the right call to take the players off. No-one can operate properly in conditions like that and the safety of the players was a big concern. Luckily, our man Mark Lomas is there and very wet!
According to the rule book, if the match was abandoned then it would be replayed the following day, if possible. Right, time to fill. What shall we do? Noughts and crosses? I-spy?
There is now standing water visible on the pitch too. If this carries on for much longer we could be in trouble. The seats have cleared to such an extent that the 'Shakhtar' spelled out across the main stand in white seats is entirely visible.
The rain only started about five minutes before kick off - before that it was very humid apparently. There are problems with the television pictures too. Basically, it is all kicking off weather wise.
There is lightning right above the stadium and the referee has decided to take the players off, give it five minutes and see if this brutal storm passes.
Wow - play is suspended because of the torrential rain. Brave decision but probably the right call.
Scores of fans are leaving their seats at the front near the pitch to avoid getting soaking wet in the rain. Man up!
France almost play themselves into a right mess as Mexes' back pass forces Lloris to chase back and prevent a corner.
I can't stress how filthy the conditions are - it is absolutely lashing it down.
KICK OFF - we're under way!
Ukraine's rather exhaustive anthem comes to an end and we are all set in Kiev.
Another fantastic atmosphere in the stadium as the teams emerge. The rain is lashing down which leads me down another cliche cul-de-sac; that a slick surface makes for an entertaining, error-strewn match.
For a fan perspective, why not have a read of Jonathan Johnson's slightly glass half empty take on France's opening game in his blog, or the one from his counterpart Vadim Furmanov, who was rather chuffed with the victory over Sweden.
The key tonight, as highlighted by Chris Borg's excellent match preview is whether Ukraine's shaky back line can hold off the likes of Ribery, Nasri and Benzema and if Shevchenko can get any change from Mexes and Rami, with the quality of service from wingers Konoplyanka and Yarmolenko vital.
France were far from convincing against England, despite their dominance in terms of possession, territory and goal attempts, and the post-match whines about Roy Hodgson's style were predictable. Still, the nation expected victory and will not stand for any excuses if one isn't delivered tonight.
To chuck out one of the more in vogue footballing cliches, the momentum is with Ukraine. That comeback win over Sweden has imbibed a nation with emboldened belief that they can make a big noise at the tournament. And those two goals for Shevchenko have re-energised their man goal threat.
Ukraine, still on a high after their opening triumph against Sweden, retain the same XI that won the game 2-1, meaning national hero Andriy Shevchenko has another chance to enhance his legacy.
In fact France make two changes from the side that drew 1-1 with England, as Jeremy Menez replaces Florent Malouda and Gael Clichy plays instead of Patrice Evra.
There was talk Samir Nasri would miss out against Ukraine but talk is cheap, because the Manchester City midfielder keeps his place.