Jun 20, 2014 at 8pm UK at ​Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
Dzemaili (81'), Xhaka (87')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Giroud (17'), Matuidi (18'), Valbuena (40'), Benzema (67'), Sissoko (73')
Cabaye (88')

Live Commentary: Switzerland 2-5 France - as it happened

Sports Mole brings you all of the live action as Switzerland take on France in Group E of the World Cup in Brazil.

Switzerland and France went into their Group E World Cup clash knowing that a victory would probably see them progress from the group as winners.

Les Bleus dominated a first half littered with mistakes from the Swiss, as goals from Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi and Mathieu Valbuena gave them a healthy 3-0 advantage at the break.

The Swiss continued to show a lack of concentration after the interval, leaving the French to take a 5-0 lead going into the final 10 minutes of the game.

Ottmar Hitzfeld's side left it late to show their attacking qualities, as they added two goals through Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka in the closing stages, but the French ran out comfortable victors in a seven-goal encounter at the Arena Fonte Nova.

7pmGood evening everyone and welcome to our live coverage as Switzerland take on France in Group E of the World Cup at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. Both teams managed to get their campaigns off to a winning start and will now harbour aspirations of qualification for the next round. A win for either side tonight could potentially leave them in poll position to win the group, which could mean they escape the prospect of having to face Argentina in the last 16.

7.03pmFrance and Didier Deschamps would have been quietly confident of easing through this group prior to the tournament, having made it through a tricky qualification stage and backed their progression with a number of friendly victories before heading to South America.

7.05pmFrance have already sought to assert their dominance of Group E with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Honduras in their opening game. Karim Benzema produced a world-class performance to have a hand in all three goals, while Franck Ribery's replacement, Antoine Griezmann, also shone in a game that France never looked like losing.

7.09pmTonight will prove to be the first real test for Les Bleus this tournament, though Ottmar Hitzfeld's Swiss team struggled against Ecuador despite grabbing a last-gasp winner to claim a 2-1 victory in their opening fixture. Switzerland will be looking to the impressive Ricardo Rodriguez in this game following his influence on the outcome of the game against Ecuador.

7.13pmBoth sides have no fresh injury concerns ahead of this game and we're just getting word of some team news, which we'll bring you in a moment...

7.14pmFRANCE STARTING XI: Lloris; Debuchy, Evra, Cabaye, Varane, Sakho, Sissoko, Matuidi, Giroud, Valbuena, Benzema

7.15pmSWITZERLAND STARTING XI: Benaglio; Lichtsteiner, Rodriguez, Inler, Djourou, Von Bergen, Shaqiri, Behrami, Seferovic, Xhaka, Mehmedi

7.17pmFRANCE SUBSTITUTES: Cabella, Griezmann, Mavuba, Mangala, Sagna, Ruffier, Digne, Pogba, Remy, Koscielny, Schneiderlin, Landreau

7.18pmSWITZERLAND SUBSTITUTES: Ziegler, Senderos, Lang, Barnetta, Sommer, Stocker, Dzemaili, Fernandes, Gavranovic, Drmic, Bürki, SchAr

7.20pmSo France have decided to make two rather big changes as they prepare to take on Switzerland. Paul Pogba and Griezmann have been dropped to the bench despite strong showings against Honduras, with Olivier Giroud and Moussa Sissoko coming into the team. France may look to use both players to accompany Benzema in a 4-3-3 when in possession, with the formation reverting to a 4-5-1 when the French are trying to regain the ball.

7.25pmThe Swiss have opted to keep the faith in a number of strong performers from their opening victory. The late goalscorer Haris Seferovic starts, as well as the assist-maker Rodriguez. Hitzfeld's starting XI also includes the creative talent of Xherdan Shaqiri and the defensive prowess of midfielder Valon Behrami.

7.28pmStatistically, Switzerland should actually be considered favourites tonight as they are the seeded nation and are 11 places higher than France at sixth in the Fifa rankings.

7.32pmHowever, France have undergone a startling resurgence under Deschamps and they're doing their best to banish the ghosts of their disappointing, controversial showing in South Africa four years ago. One key to success in this tournament could be Karim Benzema, who is the first French player to score a brace in a World Cup match since Zinedine Zidane in the 1998 final.

7.34pmThese two teams are particularly well-acquainted, having played each other in 36 international occasions. As it stands, France have won 15 games to the Swiss' 12, while there have also been nine draws.

7.38pmConditions have played some part in the tournament thus far, though no real standout weather patterns have hampered teams as yet. The weather around the ground is currently measuring up at 26 degrees for this fixture, with partial cloud cover. There's 69% humidity in the air, with a slight breeze blowing over the Arena Fonte Nova.

7.39pmBenzema should be a key player tonight if France want to secure a victory. Injuries have hampered the Real Madrid striker throughout his international career, though he got himself back on track with a brace in France's opening fixture. The frontman is currently going through a dangerous purple patch, which has seen him bag seven goals in eight games for Les Bleus.

7.41pmFrance can also call on the attacking intent of Mathieu Valbuena, who had a fantastic game agains the Hondurans. His movement and intelligent running should keep the Swiss defence guessing and thus create a lot of space for France's midfield and attack to exploit.

7.42pmThe Swiss won't shy away from this fixture however and they'll know that if they can get at young defenders Mamadou Sakho and Raphael Varane they could be in with a chance of grabbing a goal or two.

7.44pmThe Swiss will hopefully ask a lot more questions of France than Honduras did. One important factor tonight will be the mobility of Behrami and how capable he is of putting pressure on the French midfield. If he can get at Blaise Matuidi and Yohan Cabaye, Switzerland could stop the French machine as they look to begin their moves from the centre of the pitch.

7.46pmSwitzerland also have more attacking talent on show than Hondruas, with the likes of Shaqiri, Seferovic and Rodriguez potentially causing the French players to consider their defensive duties a little more than in their previous game. This could also have an impact on Les Bleus going forward, as they'll be wary of leaving things open in both midfield and defence.

7.47pmA conservative manager would probably look to secure a point from this game to ensure qualification is still in their own hands, however both sides will also be wanting to win the group as they bid to potentially avoid the troublesome Argentina in the next round.

7.51pmHere's what fans in Brazil have been getting up to as they prepare to enter the stadium ahead of tonight's fixture:

7.51pmI suppose it's time for me to give a prediction! This is a real close one to call, but I think France will manage to steal all three points from the Swiss. Having followed the French in the build-up to the tournament, I've witnessed a side with real attacking prowess, supplemented by the strength and sheer audacity of Benzema up top. I personally think Les Bleus will have a little too much for a resolute Swiss side. I'm saying 2-1. Let's see what happens!

7.54pmThe sun is now shining down on the teams as they stand for their national anthems. The Swiss are dressed in their traditional red strip, while the French will play in navy blue.

7.55pmIt's a totally packed house at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador and I must say: this stadium looks very impressive when the stands are full. What a game we have in store tonight!

7.57pmWe're just minutes away from kickoff as the teams gather together in their respective ends, the stadium is buzzing with fans from all over the world and I can't really make out what is the dominant colour, given how much there is of it on show.

1 minKICKOFF! So the Swiss kick us off then, kicking from left to right in a fully-fledged red kit. Here we go! Can France produce the goods against a well-drilled side? We'll find out soon...

1 minIt's a direct route taken by the Swiss from the off as they hoof the ball long into Seferovic who then finds Shaqiri, who plays the ball out wide. However, France shift across comfortably and cut out the danger.

2 minIt's end-to-end so far, though neither team have looked to carry it forward. France go forward for the first time with a long ball into Giroud down the right, who brings it under control with a nice touch, though the left-back is on the money as he comes across to shut down the Arsenal striker.

3 minSome great intent from the Swiss already as they look to press France with intensity, particularly by putting pressure on the centre backs, leaving Varane with no option but to kick long in hope.

6 minCLOSE! The ball comes into Benzema's feet for the first time as he tucks in from the left. He has his back to goal and no options on around him. Instead, the Madrid forward turns slightly, gets the ball out from his feet and fires off a curling right-footed effort towards goal, which narrowly flies wide of the post.

8 minWe're experiencing a stoppage at the moment as Von Bergen is down on the floor and things look a little uncomfortable for the Swiss. It appears as though he's going to be replaced, with a large cut above his left. He's just gone off the pitch and we'll soon find out whether he returns back to action tonight. It looks like a nasty cut.

8 minSUBSTITUTION: Yep, he's going to have to come off. He'll be replaced by Philippe Senderos.

10 minThings are yet to really get going in this fixture, with that piece of controversy lowering the tempo of the early exchanges. Other than that Benzema shot, neither side has really had any sight of goal.

12 minValbuena is given space for the first time and he moves forward down the right wing. It's a rather simple ball that tries to find Giroud in the centre of the box, which is easily read by Djourou who heads clear.

14 minFrance are starting to settle into the encounter and they gain their first foot-hold outside of the Switzerland box. Cabaye exchanges some neat passes with Matuidi, but his final ball out to Debuchy on the overlap is poor and intercepted first time, leaving the Swiss to clear their lines.



20 minWow. Two goals in 20 seconds for the French. The first comes as Giroud fires in a bullet-header from a corner, with the Swiss choosing to adopt a rather questionable zonal defensive system, allowing the Arsenal man to steal a march on his marker, leap into the air and fire a header into the top corner. Things get worse for the Swiss just 20 seconds later as Behrami gives the ball away and it soon finds itself at the feet of Matuidi, who marauds forward and drills a peach of an effort low into the corner past Benaglio, who should really save it. Amazing stuff here at the Arena Fonte Nova!

21 minWhat are the Swiss playing at? Two hefty mistakes and they find themselves two goals down... I suppose that's international football, really.

23 minThe Swiss look to make up for their lack of concentration by attacking down the right. A ball is pinged long into Seferovic, however Sakho is on-hand to steal in and use his strength to see the ball out for a goal kick

26 minCLOSE! Les Bleus are looking great going forward, especially on the counter. This time they win the ball back in defence and it's quickly fed out into the feet of Valbuena. The midfielder spins and finds Sissoko, who then finds Benzema. The striker takes the ball forward before toe-poking an effort towards the corner of goal. Thankfully for the Swiss, Benaglio makes a good diving save to claim the ball.

28 minOFFSIDE! The Swiss think they're back in the game for a second at least, as Xhaka wins the scraps of a free kick and fires past Lloris on the volley. However, replays show some great defending from the French, who all move forward in unison, leaving the Swiss forward a good yard or so offside.

29 minCLOSE! Wow! How close from the Swiss. France fail to show any fight as Mehmedi strides past Varane. He fires a wonderful shot on goal, which is tipped away by Lloris. However, it only finds its way into the path of the on-coming Shaqiri, who can only squeeze his effort across goal and wide of the post.


33 min SAVED! Well, Benzema spurns a huge chance to make it 3-0. The striker is brought down in the box by Djourou, however Benaglio gets across to his right to keep out the penalty. The danger isn't up though, as the ball makes its way to Cabaye on the rebound, but with the goal gaping the midfielder somehow manages to turn his effort onto the crossbar. You really couldn't write this stuff!

34 minThis game is relentless now as Shaqiri looks to stretch France down the right, though he's dispossessed by a resilient Evra. The full-back tries to establish a counter down his left, but the ball into Benzema isn't good enough and it runs out for a throw.

36 minFrance should be out of sight by now, but the Swiss still hold hope. Valbuena and Benzema going down the flanks is leaving absolutely no cover for either Debuchy or Evra and this could be an area Hitzfeld looks to exploit after the break. They'll just need to hang on until the interval.

38 minCLOSE! And just as I say that Shaqiri moves down the left. Debuchy is drawn into the space because of the lack of cover and has to commit himself to a tackle. He gets beaten but managed to knick it back at the second time of asking. Close, though.


42 minAnd it looks like game, set and match now for the French. It's a blistering piece of counter-attacking play that does for the Swiss. It's actually quite simple as Varane pings a straight ball out to Giroud on the left flank. He pushes forwards and squares a beautiful ball across the box, leaving Valbuena to smash home at the back post. Surely no way back now for the Reds? France to top the group? I think so...

44 minIt's a bit of a shame, really, given that the Swiss have looked rather menacing when given space going forward. However, they've only got their defence to blame as they've fallen asleep on all three of the goals. Rather poor at international level, I'd say.

45+1 minHALF TIME: FRANCE 3-0 SWITZERLAND France haven't exactly been dominant with the ball, they've just had pure pace and aggression on the counter and have managed to make all the right decisions when required. A real clinical 45 minutes from Les Bleus.

8.49pmWell then, what a game we've had so far. Three goals, one disallowed, the woodwork and a penalty miss. A real showcase of great international football, but the Swiss have made far too many mistakes. France, on the other hand, have had all the class when it's mattered. Valbuena and Benzema have been of particular quality going forward, with Matuidi being instrumental in the midfield.

8.52pmFollowing the penalty miss, you might have thought the Swiss still had a chance to salvage something, what with the space afforded to them on the flanks. However, they've been unable to seize the initiative and have been thoroughly undone by some astonishing counter-attacking play.

8.55pmThe first goal was a poor one to concede. It was some great defending from Djourou to see away the danger for the first time. However, the defending from the corner was poor and allowed Giroud with too much space to get a powerful effort off on goal. The second goal was even worse, with the Swiss giving away possession from the restart, while Benaglio might have done better at his near post to deny Matuidi.

8.57pmThe third was impressive counter-attacking stuff, though the Swiss might have done better to leave a few defenders back. It was far too easy for Varane to make the pass out to Giroud, who was again afforded far too much space to run into, with Switzerland being caught short in defence.

9.00pmThe Swiss actually held more possession (53%) in that half, however the French made the most of their 47%. Les Bleus also dominated the shooting department, having had 12 shots - seven of which have been on-target.

9.02pmSo what do Switzerland do in the second period? Well, they've probably done too much damage to themselves to be able to rescue this tie and they may now look to approach the second half as a game within itself; one that they'll try to avoid losing.

45 minFrance get us back underway and possession is given up to the Swiss. They break forward and it's Seferovic who fires tamely over from a good position.

47 minSomeone's had a word with the Swiss, I think. Seferovic breaks forward again and he feeds Mehmedi down the left flank. He breaks into the box but is stopped by a crunching tackle from Sakho, who concedes the corner.

48 minCLOSE! France go down the other end and nearly make it four for the evening. The ball is played into Benzema, who holds it for a few seconds before laying it off for Giroud. The forward tries something first time with his left, but the ball is deflected away for a corner kick.

49 minFrance have begun this second period as they mean to go on in the tournament. This time Valbuena, Sissoko and Benzema exchange a number of neat passes outside the box, before a shot is fired straight into an on-coming defender. Exciting play from Les Bleus. Darker outsiders? Maybe...

51 minSwitzerland are still looking to leave this encounter with some pride as Mehmedi inspires his team forwards. He finds Shaqiri on the overlap, but the midfielder is brought down rather aggressively by Matuidi, earning the Swiss a corner. From the resulting kick, Lloris is in a bit of trouble as the ball squirms just wide of his near post.

53 minThe Reds haven't had much in the way of creativity in and around the box, they've only really threatened with snapshots from distance. It's another of those this time as Shaqiri gets the wrong side of Matuidi, though he can't face the trek towards goal so pops off an effort from outside the box, which sails tamely wide of Lloris between the sticks.

56 minShaqiri is still doing his best to stretch France despite the predicament Switzerland find themselves in. He pulls out to the right this time, bringing Varane with him and earning the throw, as the Real Madrid centre-back commits with a sliding challenge to see away the danger.

59 minThe midfield trio of Sissoko, Matuidi and Cabaye have worked really hard in this second period thus far as they still look to press the Swiss midfield, despite already being three goals to the good. This time Sissoko gets across to cut out the run of Mehmedi down the left flank.

62 minCLOSE! Valbuena is alive to a ball at the back post following Evra's cross, with the ball working its way back to Benzema who is to the left of the area. He gets an effort off first time, which cannons into Senderos and loops agonizingly over the bar with the keeper looking beaten.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: Giroud is replaced by Paul Pogba, who comes on to tighten up the midfield.

65 minCLOSE! The Swiss should really have a consolation goal, but Lloris does brilliantly to put Mehmedi off his finish. Evra is undone at left-back and a ball is sent into the back post with the striker lurking. For some reason, Debuchy is drawn to far into the box, leaving Mehmedi free, however Lloris rushes off his line to do just about enough to put the frontman off his finish.

66 minSUBSTITUTION: Sakho is repalced by Laurent Koscielny.


68 minHmmm, is this woeful defending or pure brilliance from France? Pogba is left free with space just outside the box. The Juventus man then plays a peach of a ball with the outside of his boot towards Benzema in the six-yard box. He times his run perfectly and Senderos helps him out by kicking the air, missing the ball in the process and allowing Benzema to steal in and volley under an advancing Benaglio. Three goals in two games for Benzema, an early contender for the Golden Boot - surely?

70 minCLOSE! It should be five really as Evra is wasteful! Cabaye holds the ball up on the edge of the box as he waits for the full-back to surge into space. The Paris Saint-Germain midfield times his cute ball perfectly and Evra runs onto it, however he sends the ball over the bar with his left.


75 minOh no, avert your eyes Swiss fans - the French are having a real ball! It's a mixture of poor play from the Reds and some sweet stuff from the French. For some reason, the usually safe Inler gives up possession in midfield. The ball is then fed into Benzema on the edge of the area. He holds it up while waiting for the run of Sissoko, who receives the ball and sweeps it into the net all in one touch on the overlap on the right side of the box. Amazing finish, he's been superb all night.

76 minSAVE! This could turn really ugly for the Swiss. The French break down the right through Sissoko, who squares for Valbuena in the box, however he's denied by Benaglio. The ball is barely cleared to Benzema, who feeds in Matuidi, leaving the keeper to pull off another good stop. We've still got just under 15 to play.

78 minHow will the Swiss pick themselves up from this? Well, they'll know they've managed to secure a vital three points in the first game and will look to approach their final one looking for a win, which could earn them progression into the next round. This result could heavily damage their confidence, though.


83 minWell they've managed to grab a mere consolation goal now and it should not have beaten Lloris in all honesty. France give a needless free kick away around 35 yards from goal. They line up a three-man wall with Dzemaili looking to shoot from distance. He drills in an effort, which creeps straight under the wall and past Lloris into the bottom corner. Nice strike, but the wall should've done a lot better!

85 minCLOSE! France are looking to take all of the tempo out of this tie in the closing stages and it's allow the Swiss a bit more room in midfield. This time Shaqiri has a go, but his effort is beaten away by Lloris.


88 minFrance have paid the price for easing off the tempo, but it's a piece of class from Xhaka and you've got to give him some credit for this. Inler is given too much space in the centre of the midfield and he dinks a lovely ball into the path of the striker in behind the defence, leaving him to volley first time down past Lloris and into the bottom corner. What a finish!

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

90+2 minHaving shown quality like this in the final stages, it makes you wonder what the Swiss could have got from this game had they applied themselves a little more in terms of concentration. Despite how good the French have been, Switzerland have also handed this game to Les Bleus on a plate.

90+3 minWe end on a rather odd note as Benzema curls a wonderful finish first time into the top corner and he wheels away in celebration... He thinks he's his second goal, but the referee had already blown his whistle. The Frenchman looks a little gutted, I would be too!


9.54pmThere we have it, then. France produce another outstanding performance, which could raise questions about how far they'll go in the tournament. The Swiss made the game a tad easier for them given the amount of defensive mistakes they made, but take nothing away from Les Bleus who showed some real class and cutting edge when going forward. Goodnight everyone and thanks for joining us this evening!

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring for France against Norway on May 27, 2014.
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