What started as a scrappy affair turned into a breeze for France. It looked like this game could be pretty sticky with tackles flying in right, left and centre from Honduras.
Much like how they were against England in the warm-up game, Honduras were putting in some horrendous tackles. However, France managed to assume control over the game.
At 0-0 it nearly all boiled over with a clash between Wilson Palacios and Paul Pogba. Pogba executed a lovely turn round Palacios, who didn’t seem to like it very much and brought the Juventus midfielder down using his arms.
He then proceeded to try to get the ball using rugby-like stamps down Pogba’s leg. Naturally, the former Manchester United midfielder was distressed and kicked out at the Honduran. Both were given yellow cards and were very lucky to stay on the pitch.
The breakthrough did come, when Palacios again brought down Pogba in the penalty area with an unnecessary barge. At this point, enough was enough and Palacios was shown a second yellow and went for an early bath. Karim Benzema was solid from the spot.
After half-time, France assumed cruise control and used their opponents’ numerical inferiority very much to their advantage. Benzema was again involved in the second goal by smashing the post, after which the ball bounced along the line to the goalkeeper who accidentally knocked it in.
It all happened so quick that it was the first time goal-line technology had its first real defining moment in world football. Ruling that the ball had crossed the line after the keeper’s mishap gave France a 2-0 lead.
France again piled on the pressure and again the tackles came flying in. After a scrappy clearance, the ball fell to Benzema in the box and he thundered the ball to the top-right corner from a very tight angle to put the game beyond doubt.