France produced an impressive display as they eased past Honduras in their opening Group E match.
Les Bleus had to be patient in a tetchy first half and were finally rewarded when Karim Benzema broke the deadlock from the penalty spot. Wilson Palacios saw red in conceding the spot kick to leave Honduras facing an uphill struggle after the interval and they quickly fell further behind through Noel Valladares' own goal. Benzema rifled in a third to add further gloss.
Didier Deschamps' charges arrived in Brazil off the back of their 8-0 win against Jamaica in their final friendly and appeared in the mood to rack up the goals again as they dominated possession in confident fashion in Porto Alegre. Valladares made a reflex save to tip Blaise Matuidi's 15th-minute effort on to the bar and when the frame of the goal came to the Honduras custodian's rescue again from Antoine Griezmann's thumping header, Les Bleus were left wondering if fate would conspire against them.
The pressure was released in the 45th minute when Palacios barged into Paul Pogba as he controlled Yohan Cabaye's cross and received a second yellow card. Benzema made no mistake with the resulting spot kick. Within three minutes of the restart, the contest was effectively over as Benzema hammered an effort against the far post before the ball crept over the line off the unfortunate Valladares.
The only remaining question was how many more France could muster and number three arrived on 72 minutes when Mathieu Debuchy's blocked drive fell perfectly for Benzema to swipe into the roof of the net. Switzerland, who beat Ecuador 2-1 earlier in the day, will provide a sterner test for Deschamps' men on Friday in their next phase assignment.
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|1||Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)||18||Noel Valladares (GK) (C)|
|2||Mathieu Debuchy||3||Maynor Figueroa|
|4||Raphaël Varane||7||Emilio Izaguirre|
|5||Mamadou Sakho||8||Wilson Palacios|
|11||Antoine Griezmann||17||Andy Najar|
|14||Blaise Matuidi||19||Luis Garrido|
|16||Stéphane Ruffier (GK)||1||Luis Aurelio Lopez (GK)|
|23||Mickaël Landreau (GK)||22||Donis Escober (GK)|
|7||Rémy Cabella||2||Osman Chávez|
|13||Eliaquim Mangala||9||Jerry Palacios|
|15||Bacary Sagna||10||Mario Martínez|
|17||Lucas Digne||12||Edder Delgado|
|20||Loïc Rémy||16||Rony Martínez|
|21||Laurent Koscielny||20||Jorge Claros|
|22||Morgan Schneiderlin||23||Marvin Chávez|
|Didier Deschamps (FRA)||Luis Fernando Suárez (COL)|
|Sandro Ricci (BRA)|
|Emerson De Carvalho (BRA), Marcelo Van Gasse (BRA)|
|Peter O'leary (NZL)|