France kicked off their FIFA World CupTM campaign against Honduras at the Estadio Beria-Rio in Porto Alegre on Sunday with a 3-0 win. The French dominated from the start in what turned out to be a very physical match including seven yellow cards and one sending off. Although Les Bleus enjoyed most of the possession and had the territorial advantage for the majority of the first half, they struggled to find the net, coming very close on a few occasions and even hitting the woodwork twice.
The breakthrough came moments before half-time when Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios fouled Paul Pogba in the penalty area. He received a second yellow card and the consequent red for his troubles while Karim Benzema converted the spot kick with ease to give France the lead going into half-time.
The second half continued in the same fashion with France constantly probing the Honduras defence. It paid off quickly when Benzema fired a shot into the woodwork which then went in off the keeper, Noel Valladares, to double the lead for France. It made history in becoming the first FIFA World CupTM goal to be awarded using Goal-line Technology.
Benzema will be disappointed at not being credited with the goal which would have given him a hat-trick at the end of the night as he scored again in the 72nd minute to put the game beyond the Central Americans and ensure maximum points for Les Bleus. France will play Switzerland in their next match on Friday the 20th of June which could decide the winners of Group E while Honduras will face Ecuador the next day in a must-win match.
It seems France buried the ghosts which haunted them in 2010, but only time will tell if they can repeat their 1998 and 2006 performances.