Search

World Cup Blog: French foil physical foes

07:30 16 June 2014

Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares was credited with an own goal against France by goalline technology (pic; Mike Egerton/PA)

Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares was credited with an own goal against France by goalline technology (pic; Mike Egerton/PA)

PA Archive/Press Association Images

France 3 Honduras 0

After the furore caused by France’s team mutiny four years ago, all eyes were on Didier Deschamps and his talented side in their group opener against Honduras.

The French public were left distraught by the national team’s antics after they refused to train – supposedly in support of “Le Sulk” Nicolas Anelka - in South Africa in 2010.

France failed to rouse themselves sufficiently for the global tournament, losing two games and drawing one, including an inept defeat to hosts South Africa.

France’s behaviour made headlines across the world on the front and back pages. Four years on and Honduras coach Luis Suarez clearly set his men up to rile their lofty opponents - just as he had done in Miami against England in the build-up to this tournament.

Ten players from that side, which played against England, started this Group E match in Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre. It was a clear attempt to blunt the numerous goalscoring threats Les Bleus possess.

At every turn by France’s dominant attackers – Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Mathieu Valbuena, in particular – were stunted by tactics more commonly used by boxers.

The Honduran tackles were followed through more often not by a trailing leg. But it was the trailing leg of Pogba that nearly saw him sent off midway through the first half. Honduras were the spark and they were trying to ignite France.

Pogba, in a scuffle with Wilson Palacios, kicked out at the ex-Tottenham man before wrapping his right leg round his opponent. Both lay in a heap on the ground, both received just a yellow card.

This, though, was the only incidence where France seemed to lose their cool. But for all their possession and efforts on goal they were still on level terms with Honduras.

However, two minutes from the break, Karim Benzema scored his first from the spot.

Palacios was again involved after he barged Pogba in the back inside the box. The burly Honduran was given a second yellow for his troubles.

You could say frustration had got the better of one of Honduras’ most experienced players, but it was more likely a clear effort to deter the notoriously hot-headed Pogba – a key performer in this side at just 21 years of age.

Down to ten men Honduras could not cope with France’s movement and creativity.

Benzema thumped a volley against the far post on 48 minutes and the ball ricocheted across goal and Noel Valladares knocked the ball into his own net.

Goal-line technology was called upon and it was put down as a Valladares own goal.

Then Benzema hit his eighth goal in seven internationals – not bad for a forward often criticised for his scoring return – to complete the victory with a superb strike inside the Honduras area on 72 minutes.

Throughout proceedings France had looked excellent in attack and, frankly, outclassed their Honduran counterparts.

With Switzerland up next Deschamps may want to re-consider the high defensive line he asks his side to play.

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side scored a stunning winner in the day’s earlier game on the counter attack against Ecuador in their 2-1 success.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford Sports News

16:00
Woodford Wells skipper Joe Johnson takes up his position behind the wicket (pic: Deepak Sinha)

Woodford Wells are keen to repeat their strong form at the start of last season when the new campaign gets underway, hoping to banish memories of a late season slump that so nearly ended in relegation, writes Ned Keating.

15:00
Navestock Ardleigh Green's Matt Simmons loses his off stump against Great Wakering (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Simmons succeeds Pearson after promotion

14:00
The picturesque location that Loughton call home

After the agony of relegation last year, Loughton are hopeful they will have more to cheer this time around under the guidance of new skipper Fahad Anwar.

12:00
Ilford's Shaz Hafeez in the field (pic: Graham Hodges)

In recent seasons, Ilford have developed something of a reputation for being slow starters in the league, writes Ned Keating.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe