MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 13:00:28
Jun 15, 2014 at 8pm UK
Benzema (45' pen., 72'), Valladares (48' og.)
Evra (8'), Pogba (28'), Cabaye (45')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Palacios (28'), Garcia (53'), Garrido (83')
Palacios (43')

Live Commentary: France 3-0 Honduras - as it happened

Sports Mole brings you live World Cup coverage as France take on Honduras in the second fixture of Group E at the Estadio Beira-Mar.

France went into their opening World Cup game against Honduras in Group E looking to banish the ghosts that haunted Les Bleus in South Africa four years ago.

Didier Deschamps and his men dominated the opening stages against an industrious Honduras side, with Karim Benzema giving his team the lead from the penalty spot just before half time, after a reckless Wilson Palacios saw red for two poor fouls on Paul Pogba.

Having ridden out a number of controversial challenges, France bagged two second-half goals courtesy of Benzema, though one may go down as an own goal from the Honduran goalkeeper, who seemingly deflected the ball into his own net early in the second half

You can find out how all of the action developed by following our minute-by-minute updates below.

7.00pmGood evening everyone and thank you for joining us for the second fixture in Group E, as France take on Honduras at the Estadio Beira-Mar in Porto Alegre. France will be looking to get things underway with a comfortable victory tonight, though Honduras will have their eyes on an upset of gigantic proportions. The sides have a rather checkered history in tournament football however, with both teams have performed poorly four years ago in South Africa.

7.04pmLes Bleus managed to pick up just one point in South Africa as they bowed out at the group stage without winning a match, as player revolts and in-fighting saw them heavily criticised in the media spotlight. The Euros in Poland and Ukraine two years later were to prove a little more fruitful – despite further claims of unrest – as the French managed to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.

7.05pmThings are a little different this time around, although the process of getting to Brazil was a tad fretful. The French finished second in their qualifying group behind Spain and had to overcome a resilient Ukraine side in the playoffs, as they grabbed a vital 3-0 second-leg victory to earn a slender 3-2 aggregate win, in order to book their place on the plane to South America.

7.07pmDuring that process France manager Didier Deschamps has somehow managed to bring the French players together with his backroom staff in a strong show of unity in their preparations for the World Cup. This saw the French put together a thrilling attacking display in their last friendly before Brazil, where they tore a sorry Jamaica side to pieces, thanks to the guile of a strong midfield and the brilliance of Karim Benzema.

7.10pmThis will be the first-ever time France and Honduras have met in an international game and the South American side will be looking to improve on some rather suspect performances at previous World Cup tournaments. Honduras have failed to score in their last four World Cup games and slipped out of the 2010 event without even managing to score a goal.

7.13pmHonduras, like France, collected only a point in South Africa and are yet to even win a World Cup game despite featuring in the showpiece two times before this one.

7.15pmLuis Fernando Suarez won't be too downbeat though, as his side managed to leave for the competition on the back of a spirited display against England, with the coach also able to call on an heavily-experienced English-playing quartet of Emilio Izaguirre, Maynor Figueroa, Wilson Palacios and Roger Espinoza.

7.19pmWe're just getting word of the team news from the Estadio Beira-Mar...

7.19pmFRANCE STARTING XI Lloris; Debuchy, Evra, Varane, Sakho, Cabaye, Valbuena, Benzema, Griezmann, Matuidi, Pogba

7.20pmFRANCE SUBSTITUTES: Cabella, Giroud, Mavuba, Mangala, Sagna, Ruffier, Digne, Sissoko, Remy, Koscielny, Schneiderlin, Landreau

7.22pmHONDURAS STARTING XI: Valladares; Beckeles, Izaguirre, Palacios, Bernardez, Figueroa, Najar, Garrido, Costly, Bengtson, Espinoza

7.24pmHONDURAS SUBSTITUTES: Lopez, Chavez, Montes, Garcia, Palacios, Chavez, Delgado, Garcia, Martinez, Claros, Escober, Martinez

7.25pmSo the teams are in, then... And France have made two changes from the starting XI that mauled Jamaica last week. Arsenal's Olivier Giroud misses out as Antoine Griezmann comes into the team, while Real Madrid's Karim Benzema keeps his place following a commanding performance in France's last friendly prior to the tournament.

7.31pmIt looks as though France will operate with a 4-5-1 formation when they don't have the ball, however when in possession Les Bleus will look to move forward with a front-three made up of Mathieu Valbuena, Benzema and Griezmann. The French have a midfield three of Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye and Blaise Matuidi to put out any potential fires, though I think they'll be more inclined to begin the French's attacking moves tonight.

7.33pmHonduras have indeed decided to start with their experienced British-playing quartet of Izaguirre, Figueroa, Palacios and Espinoza. However, given the way France played against Jamaica, I think all four will have their work cut out tonight.

7.36pmI think we'll see goals from the French tonight, which will fit well within the spirit of the Brazilian World Cup so far. As it stands, this tournament have been the first World Cup in 80 years where there has been no draws in the first nine matches.

7.38pmMuch has been made of the conditions in Brazil prior to the tournament, so what can the two sides expect weather-wise tonight? Well, at the moment temperatures at the Estadio Beira-Mar are pushing 18 degrees, which isn't too imposing, however weather specialists have recorded humidity levels of 78%.

7.40pmFrance and Honduras will be facing each other in the Estadio Beira-Mar, which was originally built in 1969. Having undergone expansion work prior to the tournament, the venue can now hold 43,394 fans.

7.42pmSuch is the task facing the Honduran squad tonight, only four of their players were born when Honduras last scored a World Cup goal!

7.43pmTournament football hasn't faired too kindly for the French either, as Les Bleus have won just one of their ten matches at the World Cup and European Championships since Zinedine Zidane retired in 2006.


7.48pmAs you can see, the players are out at the Estadio Beira-Mar, with cloud cover providing some respite from the sun, however the weather is a little humid to say the least...

7.49pmTime for a predication from me, I guess... Usually I tend to go on history, but this is the first time the sides have ever met each other on the international stage. Despite being without Franck Ribery, I think France have too much attacking talent for them to leave without three points tonight. I'm expecting Honduras to put the boot in a little, but I don't see them causing too many defensive problems for the French. They could perhaps grab a goal from a set piece, but I'm pushing towards a comfortable 3-0 victory for Les Bleus tonight.

7.53pmThis France team look incredibly united compared to previous squads, with Deschamps doing a fantastic job to partially restore their reputation on the world stage. It wasn't that long ago that Laurent Blanc had all 23 members of the South African squad banned for his first game in charge as they took on Norway in a friendly.

7.54pmHere we go then, the Estadio Beira-Mar is packed to the rafters as the players make their way out onto the pitch and begin to lineup for the customary national anthems.

7.55pmHave they skipped the national anthems? It seems like it, with a number of people in the stadium looking a tad confused. The referee gets a little tired of waiting and the players begin the handshakes and take up their positions on the pitch. We're just a few minutes from this tie getting underway now!

7.58pmThere were rumours of the French camp being infiltrated by a spy drone prior to this game. If that was the case, let's see if it worked...

1 minKICKOFF! Honduras get us going in the tie kicking from right to left, playing in a full-white strip. France, meanwhile, are playing in navy blue... Plenty of garish boots on display too.

1 minIt's a scrappy start as the Hondurans scramble the ball forward. France managed to clear the ball, but only as far as Palacios, who fires in a strike that crashes into the commanding Varane.

2 minFrance have their feet on the ball for the first time tonight and it's simply a case of knocking it around to get a foothold. Pogba looks to assert his dominance with a ball into Benzema down the left, but Honduras clear for a throw.

3 minFrom what I can tell, it looks as though the speaker system is broken inside the stadium, as we've had no announcement of the teams or an explanation for the lack of anthems.

4 minBenzema is looking menacing already. It's a lofted ball into the French forward that causes problems as he pushes two defenders off the ball. However, Montes has his head screwed on and gets across to clear for a throw.

6 minHonduras are showing a lot more guile already than we saw in their fixture against England. Espinoza is given a little too much time in the middle as he looks to ping a pass out to Costly on the right, however Sakho is in the way to make a good block.

7 minCLOSE! France create the game's first real chance as Matuidi is given time to feed Valbuena out on the right. He takes one touch and whips in a delightful ball, which Valladares somehow manages to scramble away.

8 minThings are being played at a slow pace as it stands as the French look to size up the Honduran defence. The team in white won't mind that though, as they'll be looking to use Bengtson's pace on the break.

9 minValbuena is showing great awareness already as he looks to drop into the pockets and the Hondurans aren't quite sure how to combat the problem as they give away a dangerous free kick in the bottom right corner of the pitch. The French deliver something off the training ground, but Benzema can't apply the final touch as he scuffs wide.

12 minCLOSE! Honduras concede a needless free kick with a handball and Valbuena turns a pacey delivery into the centre of the box. Pogba looks to get on the end of it, however Valladares does really well to get off his line and punch clear.

14 minImpressive stuff from the French when out of possession. Honduras manage to string a few passes together for the first time, but Les Bleus press quickly and apply enough pressure to win back the ball.

16 minOFF THE BAR! Stunning save from Valladares who does superbly to touch Matuidi's effort onto the cross bar and away from danger. Poor defending from Honduras really, as they fail to clear and leave the French midfielder with time to fire on the half volley from seven or eight yards following a corner.

17 minHonduras are playing up to things a little already and it's sad to see. Valbuena tags Palacios with a naughty but very tame tackle as he looks to win back possession and the midfielder is rolling all over the place. I personally think he's trying to earn his time a few extra minutes to get a breather, in all honesty!

19 minPogba is looking to spur things forward. He turns brilliantly in midfield to remove two men from the game, before feeding the ball out to the left. The French move forward with Evra who scampers into the box, but Honduras are able to scramble it away again. They're hanging on a little as France continue to assert their dominance.

20 minOFF THE BAR! Valbuena is causing all sorts of trouble in and around the box. The midfielder tries a sharp one-two with Benzema though it doesn't quite come off. The ball is cleared to the halfway line where it is sent back into the box first time. Griezmann is there and he does extremely well to twist his neck and get his head to the ball, which loops over Valladares and cannons back off the bar. France are getting closer and closer...

24 minYELLOW CARDS! Both Pogba and Palacios are booked for a coming together and the Honduran player has done extremely well to avoid a sending off. It looks as though he has stamped on the Frenchman, not once, but perhaps twice, leading to handbags from both sides. The referee does well to calm things down and he shows two yellows following the incident.

28 minPogba has done well to avoid something a little more serious as well, with replays showing that he's kicked out at Palacios following the challenge - both lucky boys, really!

30 minThe incident has taken a little bit of pace out of the game, as France look to get the passing carousel going again, with Valbuena looking to pass-and-go in the centre of the pitch.

32 minFrance haven't made much of the wings tonight, with the majority of balls being played down the central channels. Debuchy has other ideas though, but his incisive pass down the right flank is cleared away by Bernardez.

35 minThat was speculative from Figueroa, who pushes the ball out from under his feet just inside the France half and opens up with an attempted lob from about 45 yards. Pointless in all honesty, but they haven't offered much else going forward. He's done it before at Wigan, mind...

38 minCLOSE! Pure class from Griezmann this time as he pulls the strings on the edge of the Honduran box. He slips in a lovely short ball into the advancing Matuidi, who cuts it back for Benzema, only for Figueroa to make the most important block of the game. Great defending.

40 minHonduras are doing their best to break when they do manage to get hold of the ball, with Najar looking to open things up on the right. He doesn't have the support however and the move breaks down as Sakho comes across to close him out.

42 minMore great attacking play from France as Benzema is found at the back post, he has a player waiting in the centre but decides to go it alone. The shot is blocked and rebounds away for a corner. Meanwhile, the 13-stone veteran Bernardez looks to have turned his ankle inside the box and is getting treatment from the medics. A bit more composure from Benzema and the French could be one up going into the break.

43 minRED CARD! Palacios is a goner, surely no way back now for Honduras? Pure stupidity from the former Tottenham Hotspur man as he barges straight into the back of Pogba inside the box and it's a penalty to France.


45 minTidy stuff from the Real Madrid striker as he sends the goalkeeper the wrong way and sweeps an effort into the right side of the goal. Great composure from Karim Benzema.

45+2 minYELLOW CARD! Cabaye is given a yellow for a late lunge as he tries to reclaim possession inside the Honduran half.

45+3 minCLOSE! Almost two for France as Matuidi breaks into the box, but he doesn't quite have the quality to find Benzema who is waiting a few yards from the penalty spot. The ball is cleared as far as France's midfield, where the ball is then fed to Evra on the left. He beats the full-back and is awarded a free kick after a poor tackle. Valbuena is the taker and he turns in a whipped delivery on goal, leaving Valladares to make a good diving save.


8.50pmFrance go into the break a goal to the good and it's what they've deserved really. They've been in complete control, with their midfield and frontline making great movements around the box. Honduras have had no response whatsoever other than to kick and they've paid the price with the Palacios sending off.

8.54pmPogba was terrific in that first period, as were Valbuena and Benzema, however questions will be asked as to whether the Juventus midfielder should still be on the pitch... He was, however, responding to some real barbaric stuff from Palacios and I personally think the Honduran midfielder should have seen red earlier than he did.

8.56pmFrance's dominance can be seen in the fact they've had 64% possession in the first period. However, they've actually committed more fouls than Honduras, who have appeared a lot more physical to the human eye. France have made seven fouls, while the Hondurans have made six.

8.58pmLes Bleus have been in total control in attack, having taken nine shots at goal, whereas Honduras have only had two.

9.00pmSo where do Honduras go from here then? They weren't really able to contain France even when they had 11 men... I suspect France will look to assert some more control in the second half, with a few more goals helping to set up a tasty goal difference going into their second game.

45 minFrance get us back underway in the second half, I'm fancying them to score a few more in the next 45 minutes.


49 minGoal-line technology proves the difference then, but not without controversy. Cabaye whips a ball across the box to Benzema, who knocks it past the on-rushing Valladares. The ball smacks into the post, before coming back off the keeper, who tries to scramble the ball out of the net as it crosses the line. The referee gives a goal at first given the goal-line technology, but then another video is played showing the ball hitting the post at first instance and the goal is taken away. However, the video continues showing the ball crossing the line, leading the goal to be rewarded to the French. So it's 2-0 now... We got there, in the end!

52 minYELLOW CARD! Boniek Garcia is shown a yellow for a poor challenge on Evra.

54 minSAVE! Valladares does well to deny Benzema from claiming his second. It's all down to Griezmann, who beats his full-back too easily. He crashes a drilled effort across the box, with Benzema taking a touch to bring it under control. With his second he lets fly on goal, only for the keeper to beat his effort away with strong palms.

56 minPogba has been replaced by Moussa Sissoko and he's straight into the action as he tries to deliver for Benzema in the box, however Honduras do well to turn it away for a corner. Griezmann shows his first slip-up of the night as he is adjudged to be offside following the short set piece.

60 minI fear for Honduras now as they look increasingly frustrated in the Estadio Beira-Mar, it wouldn't be of any surprise if they were to receive another red card this evening.

64 minCLOSE! Things seem to have slowed down again after the second goal. France are moving the ball calmly across their midfield, with Cabaye waiting to pick out the perfect forward pass into Benzema. Griezmann takes up the ball on the box and feeds it wide to Evra. The Manchester United full-back beats his man and sends in a low cross to the near post. Matuidi is the first to it, but he sends his first-time effort into the side netting. Should've scored really...

65 minSUBSTITUTION Rio Mavuba is introduced in place of Cabaye, with the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder already on a yellow card.

67 minSissoko is looking to make use of his fresh legs out on the right flank and he almost carves out an opportunity with a cross into the box. However, it doesn't clear the first man and Honduras escape unscathed.

69 minCLOSE! Sakho is a little clumsy at the back and he gives the ball away to Boniek, who scampers into the box and fires off a shot straight at Lloris, who gets down comfortably.

70 minValbuena is continuing to torment Honduras, this time as he skips past Figueroa, who responds with a horrible lunge and somehow manages to escape a booking! Maybe he's run out of cards? That would be the only plausible answer for the ref's decision...


74 minBenzema grabs his second of the night and he might even stake a claim for a hat-trick given the controversy of the second goal. From the free kick, the ball is fed to the edge of the box, where a strong strike is sent into the box from Debuchy. It clashes into Evra before landing at the feet of Benzema, who makes no mistake with a fine finish into the roof of the net from the right side of the six-yard box.

77 minSUBSTITUTION: Valbuena is replaced by Olivier Giroud, who was a little unlucky to miss out on a start this evening.

78 minHonduras have suddenly started to play and they manage to keep possession with some neat passing football. However, as has often been the case, they get a little bored with the cultural side of the game and send a lofted pass forward, which is safely swept up by Liverpool's Sakho.

80 minGiroud looks to get straight into the swing of things as he stretches the play on the right flank, he looks to beat the full-back for pace, but is bundled to the ground and is left further frustrated when he isn't awarded a free kick.

82 minJust under 10 minutes to go now at the Estadio Beira-Mar. France have been dominant all evening and this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Honduras. They're going to see more possessional play from Switzerland in this group and will need to work out another plan. You can't just rely on kicking the opposition to pieces.

84 minLes Bleus are still hunting for more goals though, as Griezmann turns in the corner. Giroud is the first to it, but he's sandwiched between two players and can't make use of the cross.

88 minFrance might well be doing their best to come out of this game with a squad of fit players. Despite being 3-0 up, these remaining minutes could be purely about survival for the French, as they look to avoid injury from some of these horror tackles on display tonight.

90 minWe're going to have three minutes of additional time.

90+2 minFrance have slowed everything down to a walking pace when in possession around the Honduras box as they look to see out the final minute. A real strong showing from Deschamps and his men, with France looking to push forward with a reinvented method of total football.


9.55pmThere we are then, France open their account in the World Cup with an easy three points against Honduras. Les Bleus dominated from the off and showed some great movement to torment the Honduran defence. Honduras on the other hand were anything but pretty, with some of their tackles this evening belonging in the WWE if anything... Thanks for joining us tonight and we'll see you soon for more coverage of Group E.

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France's players forward Olivier Giroud, forward Blaise Matuidi and defender Mamadou Sakho celebrate after Giroud scored a goal during a friendly football match against Norway on May 27, 2014
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Preview: France vs. Honduras

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