France stamped their authority in Donetsk with an exhibition of free-flowing passing football, but they had to weather an early storm in the form of an early storm created by Mayan rain deity Chaac.
Despite sitting top of Group D after their victory over Sweden, Ukraine had every reason to fear the French, who enjoyed more than 100% of possession against England. Samir Nasri had been issued the ball a day before kick-off and retained it until three hours after the final whistle when he was dispossessed by a waitress in a wine bar while attempting a rabona.
And the French were again looking ominous in the first three minutes in Donetsk, prompting Ukraine to turn to a fickle and capricious rain God Ã¢ÂÂ a strategy that had been widely backed in the local press since Chaac was spotted in training earlier in the week creating rainstorms with his trademark lightning axe.
Oleg Blokhin signalled for Chaac to begin warming up after just 60 seconds of action and He replaced a nonplussed Yevhen Selin.
It didnÃ¢ÂÂt take long for Chaac to made an impact. Within two minutes He had slipped his marker and chased the sun and moon from the sky, delivering a devastating flash flood.
With most of Donetsk underwater, referee Bjorn Kuipers was forced to take the players off the pitch but Chaac continued to show his quality, throwing a series of speculative lightning bolts at Yohan Cabaye.
However, a lack of match practice took its toll on Chaac whose last reported outing came in 1694 as half of a deadly partnership with the skeletal Death God Zaccimi, now manager of Besiktas. After 55 minutes Chaac had to be withdrawn from the action and France regained the upper hand.
"Pour in a minute! It's gonna pour in a minute!"
With the exception of Philippe Mexes, who struggled to come to terms with the affront of having his hair washed by a stranger, Laurent BlancÃ¢ÂÂs men seemed remarkably unfazed by ChaacÃ¢ÂÂs cameo and struck twice within three minutes to take an unassailable 2-0 lead.
While Ukraine had their opportunities, they were let down by many of their players not being Andriy Shevchenko Ã¢ÂÂ a state of affairs that Blokhin is unlikely to be able to address in time for the host nationÃ¢ÂÂs final group game against England.
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