For the first time we had a match in this World Cup that had a chance of being remembered more for its brutality and violence and not the football, but eventually Honduras calmed down and accepted their fate of losing to a much better side, as France came away with a 3-0 win to take the top spot in Group E, getting a brace from Karim Benzema and another own goal off of goalkeeper Noel Valladares.
Didier Deschamps warned his players before the match about the aggressive and sometimes even brutal nature of the Honduran side, which is often very good on defense but lacks any kind of creativity offensively. Wilson Palacios made a rough challenge on Paul Pogba which resulted in a retaliation from the French midfielder, resulting in a yellow card from both although some thought Pogba should have been sent off.
Right before half time Wilson Palacios fouled Paul Pogba once again, this time with a push in the penalty area, which resulted in a second yellow card, a sending off and Karim Benzema scoring his first goal of the tournament, giving France a lead they deserved after quite a few chances in the first half created by Benzema, Antoine Griezmann and Velbuena.
We had more of the same in the second half ,although first was our first glimpse at goal line technology in the World Cup. Karim Benzema hit the post off of a Mathieu Debuchy and the ball rolled off Noal Valladares and made its way past the goal line before it was cleared. The replay was shown, and despite the arguments from the Honduran bench and the boos from around the stadium, France were up 2-0.
After a few minutes of Honduras players trying to injure the French side, the match calmed down and football prevailed, as Karim Benzema became the fourth player in the tournament with two goals in one match, scoring off the rebound to make it a three goal lead and allow France to slow down the pace and avoid having anyone getting injured, with Honduras sliding hard on any player trying to create anything near the penalty box.
Yohan Cabaye, along with Benzema, was France’s best player, as for at least the first 90 minutes of the tournament showed that Franck Ribery isn’t missed and certainly not Samir Nasri. However, Honduras might be one of the weakest teams in this tournament, so drawing conclusions on how much France have a chance of succeeding in this tournament is a bit too soon.