Karim Benzema led the charge as France overwhelmed Honduras 3-0
PORTO ALEGRE Brazil: A swashbuckling Karim Benzema led the charge as France overwhelmed Honduras 3-0 in their Group E opener on Sunday, showing a resurgence of flair that should bury the memories of Les Bleus’ debacle in South Africa in 2010.
Benzema bagged a brace himself, while a bizarre own goal by Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares saw goal line technology used for the first time in a World Cup to confirm the ball had crossed the line.
In a bruising encounter, Honduras were reduced to 10-men after Wilson Palacios charged into French midfielder Paul Pogba seconds before the break in a challenge that had him sent-off for a second booking. Benzema smashed home the resulting penalty to give France a lead they deserved having dominated the first 45 minutes.
Three minutes into the second half, Benzema stole past the defense to shoot across goal with his shot coming back off the far post, rolling along the line and going in off Valladares.
Benzema struck again with 18 minutes left when he shot from a narrow angle on the right past Valladares and into the roof of the net, earning a rendition of “La Marsellaise” from the red, white and blue clad French fans.