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.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham 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 Newham 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 Newham 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 Sport Stories

Local youngsters are battling it out on the football fields of Essex and London

National Cup: Glenthorne High 1 Marshalls Park 4

West Ham United's Morgan Amalfitano

It seems it is my way or the highway for Slaven Bilic as French midfielder is sent packing

Slaven Bilic
New Orient loan signing Adam Chicksen, in action for former club Milton Keynes Dons (pic: David Davies/PA)

Brighton & Hove Albion ace happy in east London and explains how quickly his loan switch occured on Thursday evening

Jay Simpson
Yesterday, 17:00
Leyton Orient legend Peter Kitchen (right) alongside former Head of Commerical Tom Jeffes (pic: LOFC).

Peter Kitchen talks Orient Somme Memorial, what to expect in his updated book and the history of the Brisbane Road club

Most read sport


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Read more
You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder