World Cup 2014 Video: Benzema brace ensures winning start for France
Video: The Independent's Ian Herbert reports from the Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre where Didier Deschamps' men overcame a rough-playing Honduras team to win 3-0.
Monday 16 June 2014
France had not won their opening game in a World Cup campaign since 1998 and on the basis of this performance against Honduras, a team so often beset by bickering off the pitch looks set to hark back to better days.
The Independent's Ian Herbert said France's 3-0 victory against Honduras "was not a pretty sight but the French came through with ease, commanding 63 per cent of possession, with 18 shots on goal to their opponents’ four.
"The quality of France’s football suggested England face a challenge even meeting the top European standard across the next three weeks."
England drew 0-0 with Honduras in their last pre-World Cup match before their loss to Italy, and much was made of the rough tackling of the Hondurans against the English. The French manager Didier Deschamps simply said “they have an aggressive team” before the game and indeed, the Honduran captain Wilson Palacios was sent off in the first half after notching up two yellow cards.
The star of the show was Karim Benzema, who increased the level of “Benzemania” which France is awash with by scoring two goals, as well as seeing another shot hit the post and then being spilt over the line by the Honduran goalkeeper, resulting in the first major use of goal-line technology in the World Cup so far.
However, there was still some confusion as to the final decision on France's second goal.
Deschamps criticised Fifa for showing the wrong image when the side’s second goal was subjected to the first video technology used at a World Cup finals, leading the Honduran players to believe it had been chalked off.
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