France defeated Honduras in a comfortable 3-0 victory. Karim Benzema led by example by scoring two goals while contributing on the 2nd goal that turned out to be an own goal.
It was an action packed game with everything a fan can hope for. There was a red card, a penalty, first usage of the goal-line technology, and goals.
The game started out strangely as the National anthems for both teams were not heard before the game. And maybe that’s why the French team was lackluster in the first 20 minutes.
The Honduras team, although their game plan was clearly defensive, pressured the French team constantly. The French midfield had no time whatsoever to find space and maintain possession in order to initiate the French attack. Honduras, although lacked the quality to really threaten in the final third, was still able to apply pressure by exposing the inexperienced and disjointed French back-line.
But, after getting their feet wet and completing their simple passes more thoroughly, the French started to gain more confidence and played their game.
Their first real chance came in the 15th minute when Mathieu Valbuena crossed the ball on a set-piece toward the box and came at the feet of Blaise Matuidi. Matuidi was able to get a good shot on target, but the Honduras goalkeeper, Noel Valladares, was able to put a hand on it, deflecting the ball into the cross bar and out of bounds.
Wonder kid, Antoine Griezmann almost made a dream World Cup debut where he came close to scoring his first World Cup goal in the 22nd minute, only to be denied by the crossbar.
In the 28th minute, however, tempers flared when Wilson Palacios of Honduras stepped on Paul Pogba of France. Pogba retaliated by attempting to kick back at Palacios, and both players had to be separated. Both players received a yellow card for the incident, but it proved to be costly for Palacios.
In the 43rd minute, Palacios committed another foul, inside the penalty box this time, and resulted in another yellow card, thus resulting in a red card for the player. It was a silly challenge by the Honduras player on Pogba again and Honduras was left with 10 men on the pitch. The resulting penalty was converted by Benzema to give the French a deserving lead going into the half.
As the second half began, France picked up where they left off from the following first half. This time they started strong and were able to score three minutes after the whistle blew for the second half. The big headline for this game is the first real usage of the goal-line technology in a major tournament. France’s second goal was determined by the goal-line technology, but the Honduras players and coaches denied it.
For years, players, fans, and managers have been calling for the goal-line technology to be implemented in the game in order to protect the referees and make the right calls on goals to reduce controversies.
Benzema’s goal needed the goal-line technology in order to confirm whether it went over the line or not and the subsequent result was an indeed it went over the line. It wasn’t, however, credited as Benzema’s goal as Valladares deemed to have put the ball into his own net, but the French will take the goal regardless.
With plenty of space available for France playing against a 10-man Honduras team, the midfield was able to apply more pressure by getting the ball into the box. The Honduras team never looked the same after the red card and France took full advantage of it.
The French had many more opportunities, but was not able to convert their chances against the 10-man Honduras team. In the 72nd minute, France finally blew the game away by scoring their third goal of the game. And once again it was Benzema getting in on the score sheet.
Mathieu Debuchy’s long range drive was deflected and fell right at the center forward, who blasted home the third goal on the near post.
France rebounded from their shaky start to the game and was able to win in a comfortable fashion 3-0. They had some defensive fallacies, but their midfield proved to be too strong for the 10-man Honduras team. They’ll need to be more clinical in front of the net against better oppositions, but they’ll take the win regardless.
France will now face Switzerland, who won their opener, on Friday Jun. 20th and will be a tougher opponent for the Les Bleus.