France 5-2 Switzerland

France earned an easy Group E win over Switzerland at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, with five goals from five different players to make the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup.

Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud scored Les Bleus’ first in the 17th minute, when the striker headed from the penalty spot into the top right corner. Goalkeeper Diego Benglio couldn’t challenge the strike as the ball flew past him for a French lead.

Just before the Astronauts in space received the 1-0 update, Blaise Matuidi had blasted the second, 66 seconds after the opener. The Swiss lost the ball from the kick off as Benzema assisted Matuidi’s low shot into the bottom left. Switzerland were in shock as they tried to get their act together. Shaquri had a 27th minute free kick for the Swiss but the French cleared, though not well for Behrami’s smash which was denied by the linesman.

Benzema missed a penalty in the 32nd minute following Johan Djourou’s tackle that had the referee pointing at the spot. Mathieu Valbuena was at the end point of a stunning counter attack in the 40th minute after Girouds’ effort that saw Valbuena drill the third at the far post.

Goals from Benzema and Moussa Sissoko made it 5-0 in the 67th and 73rd minute respectively before late consolations from Blerim Dzermaili and Granit Xhaka. The Swiss had moments of possession in the second half but that could not spur any small chance of a comeback.

Didier Deschamp’s France moved to the top of the group with 6 points from two games.

Honduras 1-2 Ecuador

Ecuador defeated Honduras on the strength of forward Enner Valencia’s brace to better their chances of making it to the last 16 of the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Ecuador came from a goal behind after Carlo Costly’s left footed shot in Curitiba to hand his country its first World Cup goal since 1982.

Honduras made a couple of errors in the first half but Carlos Costly picked up his side when Ecuador’s Ayovi lost the ball outside his penalty area. The lead did not last long as Ecuador responded 3 minutes later. Paredes shot from the edge of the area for a deflection to Enner Valencia who drilled at the far post.

Honduras were back ahead in thanks to Costly’s header but the goal was ruled out, Bengston having handled the ball and off side as well. Another was disallowed in the second half, after Costly was caught offside from Espinoza’s through ball.

Enner Valencia netted the winner for the South Americans in the 65th minute, taking the lead with a header he guided past the goalkeeper into the far corner. The result left Honduras at the brink of a World Cup exit.

They need to beat Switzerland in their final group game and pray to improve their goal difference.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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