France held firm against a physical 10-man Honduras side to open their FIFA World Cup campaign with a 3-0 win in Porto Alegre on Sunday.
Luis Suarez’s Central Americans were not afraid to put in several robust challenges – an approach that resulted in Wilson Palacios’ dismissal shortly before the break.
There was also a first moment of doubt in relation to goal-line technology at the World Cup, with initial confusion over the verdict for France’s second goal.
However, Didier Deschamps’ men were rightful victors as they moved top of Group E despite having struggled to break down Honduras’ backline for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.
Karim Benzema gave France the lead from the penalty spot just prior to the break, with Palacios shown a second yellow card after barging into Paul Pogba, and the 10 men of Honduras fell further behind early in the second half.
After a short delay, goal-line technology confirmed goalkeeper Noel Valladares had fumbled Benzema’s effort over the line, and the Real Madrid man added a third 18 minutes from time as the French got their first points on the board in Brazil.
Both sides struggled to build momentum early on, although Mathieu Valbuena and Antoine Griezmann were among the livelier French players in the opening 10 minutes.
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