France brushed off a traveling nightmare to remain alive in the hunt for a berth in the 2008 UEFA European Championship with a 6-0 victory at the Faroe Islands.
Nicolas Anelka and Thierry Henry tallied in the first eight minutes - Henry's goal an historic one - while Karim Benzema's second-half brace and Jerome Rothen's free-kick and Hatem Ben Arfa extra-time goal finished off the hosts.
With the victory, Raymond Domenech's Les Bleus improved to 22 points in the qualifying Group B, to remain two points behind surprise leaders Scotland who won 3-1 at home over Ukraine.
Italy have 20 points but were playing later Saturday at home against Georgia.
The French didn't arrive on the Faroes until about three hours before kick-off due to dense fog and freezing rain in Torshavn on Friday.
The team was forced to spend overnight in Bergen, Norway, after twice attempting to fly from Aberdeen, Scotland.
There were discussions about the possibility of postponing the match for one day, but Domenech wanted his troops to get maximum recovery time before Wednesday's showdown with Lithuania.
France came into the match having not scored in 237 minutes. But Anelka snapped that streak in the seventh minute, dragging home a cross from Franck Ribery from a yard out - though it appeared the striker was offside.
Anelka's attack partner Henry doubled the advantage just 50 seconds later, beating home keeper Jakup Mikkelsen with a well-placed 15-yard shot from the left side after Ribery fought through the Faroe backline and sprayed the ball out to Henry.
The score gave Henry 41 goals in his French career, pulling the 30-year-old Barcelona superstar even with Michel Platini as France's all-time leading goalscorer.
Platini, the president of UEFA, played in 72 games including captaining the French side which won the 1984 European Championship.
Half-time substitute Benzema made it 3-0 for the French in the 49th minute, heading home Ribery's free-kick from the left wing past Mikkelsen.
It was 4-0 in the 66th minute when Rothen curled home a left-footed free-kick from outside the box into the upper left hand corner - though Mikkelsen was able to get his fingers on the shot.
The top chance for the Faroes, who remained on zero points with their 10th straight loss, came in the 59th minute when Simun Samuelsen found space in the box but his flat shot sailed just left of the Mickael Landreau's goal.
Christian Lamhauge Holst's header in the 73rd minute went just off target for the hosts, who were hoping to score just their fourth goal of the qualifying round.
But it was France who scored again - actually the 19-year-old Benzema, who struck home Henry's pass in the 79th minute. And Ben Arfa added finished the massacre in the third minute of extra time.
Copyright (c) Press Association
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