France claim 3-0 victory over Honduras

23:40, Jun 16 2014
Switzerland fan
A Switzerland fan arrives at the National stadium to watch his team play Ecuador.
Ecuador fans
Fans of Ecuador cheer before the start of the Group E match against Switzerland.
Header
Switzerland's Johan Djourou fights for the ball with Ecuador's Felipe Caicedo.
Contest
Gokhan Inler of Switzerland controls the ball against Juan Carlos Paredes of Ecuador.
Celebration
Switzerland's Haris Seferovic (9) celebrates his goal against Ecuador with his teammates
In Sync
Switzerland's Johan Djourou and Stephan Lichtsteinerf ight for the ball with Ecuador's Jefferson Montero.
Stadium
A general view as the teams line up prior to the Group E match between France and Honduras at Estadio Beira-Rio.
Karim Benzema
France's Karim Benzema shoots to score during the Group E match between France and Honduras.
Protest
Roger Espinoza and Oscar Boniek Garcia of Honduras protest France's second goal.
Own Goal
Goalkeeper Noel Valladares of Honduras scores an own goal, France's second, as he fumbles the ball over the line during the Group E match between France and Honduras.
Penalty
France's Paul Pogba falls near teammate Antoine Griezmann after being fouled by Wilson Palacios of Honduras.
Blaise Matuidi
France's Blaise Matuidi tries to score a goal during their Group E match against Honduras.
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema of France celebrates a goal that came after the referee had blown full time during his side's win over Switzerland in Salvador, Brazil.
Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland fights off Mathieu Debuchy of France during the Group E match between Switzerland and France at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil.
Olivier Giroud
France's Olivier Giroud (top) celebrates with teammate Mathieu Valbuena their team's victory over Switzerland.
Xherdan Shaqiri
France's Karim Benzema (left) watches as Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri falls to the ground in front of him as they fight for the ball during their World Cup clash.
French fan
A French fan approaches France's Mathieu Valbuena and Yohan Cabaye after their 2014 World Cup Group E match against Switzerland at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador, Brazil.
Enner Valencia
Enner Valencia (No 13) of Ecuador celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal against Honduras at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Carlo Costly
Carlo Costly of Honduras celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Group E match between Honduras and Ecuador at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Enner Valencia
Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates after scoring a goal past goalkeeper Noel Valladares of Honduras during their 2014 World Cup Group E football match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba.
Enner Valencia
Ecuador's Enner Valencia comes up with a novel way to celebrate after scoring a goal against Honduras.
Juan Carlos Garcia
Juan Carlos Garcia of Honduras controls the ball past Antonio Valencia of Ecuador during their clash at the World Cup.
Felipe Caicedo
Felipe Caicedo of Ecuador challenges Laurent Koscielny of France during their World Cup Group E match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Olivier Giroud
France's Olivier Giroud (second right) reacts after missing a chance to score against Ecuador at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Walter Ayovi
Walter Ayovi of Ecuador reacts after a 0-0 draw with France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Oscar Bagui
Oscar Bagui of Ecuador controls the ball against Loic Remy of France during their Group E World Cup match.
Walter Ayovi
Ecuador's Walter Ayovi fights for the ball with France's Moussa Sissoko (right) during their Group E match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Paul Pogba
France's Paul Pogba (centre) fights for the ball with Ecuador's Cristian Noboa (right) during their 0-0 draw in Rio de Janeiro.
Granit Xhaka
Switzerland's Granit Xhaka (left) is challenged by Hondruas defender Juan Carlos Garcia during their Group E match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus.
Josip Drmic
Switzerland's Josip Drmic (top) fights for the ball with Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios.
Xherdan Shaqiri
Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri fires his second goal past Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares.
Xherdan Shaqiri
Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri acknowledges the fans after his country's 3-0 victory over Honduras.
Ricardo Rodriguez
Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez falls into the net after clearing a shot by Jerry Bengston off the line.
Jerry Bengtson
Jerry Bengtson of Honduras (right) watches as his shot is cleared off the line by Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez.

Karim Benzema scored twice and created a third that was confirmed by goal line technology as France beat Honduras 3-0 this morning in its first World Cup match.

The dominant win was a relief for France, whose team of highly paid players failed to win in South Africa and was sent home in a disgrace after going on a training strike.

''Winning 3-0 at a World Cup isn't easy,'' France coach Didier Deschamps said.

Noel Valladares
GOAL OR NO GOAL? Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares grabs at the ball in an effort to stop it crossing the line.

''[The players should] savour the moment, there's nothing more wonderful.''

France dominated the match from the opening whistle, despite a series of scrappy tackles by the Honduran team seeking its first World Cup win.

Benzema's first goal came from the penalty spot just before halftime after Wilson Palacios was sent off with his second yellow card for charging into the back of Paul Pogba.

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The Real Madrid striker calmly slotted the ball to the left of Noel Valladares to give Les Bleus a deserved lead going into the break.

With Honduras down to 10 men, France continued to dominate and Benzema created the second goal in the 48th minute - the first to be confirmed by goal line technology at the World Cup.  

Benzema latched onto a long ball by Yohan Cabaye and his shot hit the post and came back across goal before Valladares fumbled it over his own line. With the new technology system confirming the ball crossed the line, a message was sent to a bracelet worn by referee Sandro Ricci, who then gave the goal.

Benzema scored his second in the 72nd, firing in powerfully from inside the area after a long range shot by right back Mathieu Debuchy was blocked.

''It's my first World Cup and I think we're all satisfied with the result,'' Benzema said.

''It was important to win this match.''

French keeper Hugo Lloris didn't have to touch the ball until the 31st minute and didn't have to make a save all night.

France looked dangerous from the start, with Blaise Matuidi and Antoine Griezmann both hitting the crossbar before the half-hour mark.

The only downside for the French fans was that the teams' national anthems weren't played before the game because of an apparent malfunction - meaning they didn't get a chance to sing La Marseillaise.

Fifa did not immediately give an explanation to why the anthems weren't played.

 

Reuters