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Keeping Real's slim title hopes alive

Real Madrid
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By ESPN Staff

Blue Samurai beat Les Bleus

A smash-and-grab goal from Yasuyuki Konno earned Japan a 1-0 victory over France, who endured a demoralising warm-up to their crucial World Cup qualifier against Spain.

While world champions Spain prepared for Tuesday night's showdown with a comfortable 4-0 win over Belarus, Didier Deschamps' men were looking to stretch their legs against a nation they had beaten five times in five meetings.

However, thanks to the heroics of visiting goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, and the astonishing profligacy of the French forward line, Konno's last-gasp goal on the counter ensured a weekend of soul-searching for Les Bleus.

Elsewhere, Poland recorded a 1-0 win against South Africa in Warsaw.

Marcin Komorowski, a late substitute, scored the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute.

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