Luxembourg managed the impossible in Toulouse, holding France to a scoreless draw, putting Les Blues’s hopes of topping their World Cup qualification group in danger.
Topping Group A and fresh off a 4-0 thrashing of Holland, Didier Deschamps’ men were expected to sweep aside a team ranked 136th in the world.
However, the hosts were unable to find a way past Jonathan Joubert thanks to a combination of extremely profligate finishing and some inspired goalkeeping from the veteran Luxembourger.
The 37-year-old custodian was the best player of the match and probably the busiest from the 22 on the pitch.
Kylian Mbappe, starting for France for the first time since his much-publicised move to Paris Saint-Germain, was heavily involved in the hosts’ moves and set up Antoine Griezmann for a simple tap-in early on.
Griezmann, however, blazed his effort well over the bar and while it was largely one-way traffic for the entirety of the 90 minutes, the Atletico Madrid man was having one of his rare off-nights in front of goal and would miss several gilt-edged chances as the match progressed.
France’s midfield had completely monopolised possession, with N’Golo Kane and Paul Pogba running the show with ease but the visitors gave France a scare before the interval with a fast break.
David Turpel latched on to a long ball and decided to go alone from a tight angle, sending his shot just over Hugo Lloris’ goal but had he been a little more alert, he would have noticed teammate Daniel da Mota was unmarked and in a better position.
The second-half began as the first did, with France surging forward in numbers at every opportunity to find the breakthrough but Joubert was unbeatable, beating away headers, long-range strikes and free-kicks to stymie the hosts time and again.
And for a change, when he was beaten by substitute Alexandre Lacazette’s curling shot, a defender was at hand to make a goal-line clearance.
On the other end, Luxembourg went mighty close to a shock winner when Gerson Rodriguez, off the bench, hit the post from a narrow angle with Lloris stranded at the near-post.
In the end, the minnows held on and while they had been eliminated, the momentous draw will be seen as a landmark achievement.
In the other Group A matches on the night, second-placed Sweden thrashed Belarus 4-0 to whittle down France’s lead at the top of the group to just two points.
The international break concludes for Les Blues and they will now have to ensure qualification for next year’s showpiece in October, when they play Bulgaria and Belarus in their final qualifying matches.