World Cup—Group E—Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
FRANCE 3-0 ECUADOR
Scorers: Benzema (45, 72), Valladares (o.g. 48)
France: Lloris; Debuchy, Varane, Sakho, Evra; Pogba (Sissoko), Cabaye (Mavuba), Matuidi; Griezmann, Benzema, Valbuena.
Substitutes: Cabella, Giroud, Mavuba, Mangala, Sagna, Ruffier, Digne, Sissoko, Remy, Koscielny, Schneiderlin, Landreau
Honduras: Valladares; Izaguirre, Figueroa, Bernardez (O. Chavez), Beckeles; Wilson Palacios (SENT OFF), Garrido, Espinoza, Najar (Claros); Bengtson (B. Garcia), Costly.
Substitutes: Lopez, Osman Chavez, Montes, Garcia, Jerry Palacios, Marvin Chavez, Delgado, Garcia, Mario Martinez, Claros, Escober, Rony Martinez
France kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over Honduras to go top of Group E.
A physical, often nasty first-half saw Honduras hold their own for 45 minutes before their eagerness to do battle with their more illustrious opponents cost them.
Wilson Palacios had already been involved in clashes with Paul Pogba, among others. His last proved to be his undoing, as the midfielder was sent off for stupidly shoving Pogba in the back in his own area.
Karim Benzema converted the subsequent penalty, a just reward after he had gone close already in the first half. The striker was involved in France's next two goals after the interval, the second causing controversy.
A shot from inside the box came off the post and back across the goal. Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares scrambled to keep it out after knocking it back in, but the ball crossed the line. Or did it?
The referee initially awarded the goal before the newly installed goal-line technology ruled that it had not in the first instance. Responding to this, those in the stadium and watching on television were then confused when the second part of the incident was viewed through the system, declaring the ball had indeed crossed the line.
The own goal was awarded, but there was no doubt about Benzema's third strike.
The highly impressive Mathieu Valbuena cut back a free-kick to his namesake Debuchy outside the penalty area. The right-back struck a fierce shot which deflected into the path of Benzema, who coolly fired into the back of the net.
Honduras occasionally threatened to test France but could not seriously trouble Les Bleus. Didier Deschamps' side took their foot off the goal in the final 20 minutes, seeing out a positive start to their stay in Brazil.
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