A first-half Oliver Burke strike saw Scotland U/21s shock hosts France to put them on the brink of qualification from their Toulon Tournament group.
Dundee’s Craig Wighton again appeared from the bench, replacing goalscorer Burke, as the young Scots held on to their lead and secured a massive three points.
After a draw with Togo in their opening game, a loss would have all but knocked Scotland out with the Africans already having beaten South Korea to top Group B.
Scot Gemmill’s charges, however, had other plans as they got reward for a good first-half display.
Celtic winger Michael Johnston was a threat once more down the left while 16-year-old Billy Gilmour impressed in the middle of the park.
It was Burke, though, that made the difference.
With minutes to go before the break, the West Brom man latched on to a long ball from Robby McCrorie and fired in from a tight angle through the hands of goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud.
France were quiet throughout but finally came to life in the final 20 minutes as Scotland retreated into their own half.
Burke had been replaced by this time by Wighton but the Dens favourite had to do more defending than attacking as the Scots held on.
Substitute Steve Ambri made an immediate impact and finally forced McCrorie into a save with a towering header which was heading into the top corner but for a stunning one-handed save from the Rangers keeper.
The Scottish defence did enough to cling on, however, to go above their opponents. A win over South Korea on Saturday should see them through to the semi-finals.