Benzema had several opportunities with the head and free shots, as did a few other French men. France started the match with a good fast pace seeking to score early. For their part, Honduras tenacious fought tooth and nail to fend off the dangerous attacking French power led by Valbuena on the right. The quick and fast Frenchman was a huge threat as he moved from right, left and centre.
His contribution saw the European team strike the cross bar twice among numerous wasted opportunities in front of goal. Honduras depended on counter attacking moves, but only few players entered the attacking third, thinning the attack by lack of support. Until the spot kick award, they fairly dealt with the French threat.
The second half saw France taking the match by the scruff of the neck, just the way they had ended the previous half. An exchange of passes in midfield saw Benzema being fed by a diagonal ball across the box, which he met first time to the far post, leaving the goalkeeper stranded. The ball struck the upright post and ricocheted along the line. A reflex to retrieve the ball ended with the goalkeeper’s hand assisting the ball across the line for a goal.
The goal-line technology was employed for the first time in the Fifa World Cup amid a little confusion. The imagery of the ball striking the post after the strike by Benzema showed the ball not crossing the line and a verdict of ‘No goal’ was shown. A further illuminated illustration showed the ball striking the goalkeeper and trickling across the goal line. The verdict of ‘Goal’ appeared. For a moment, this presented confusion with both coaches trying to determine which was which.
The referee was cock-sure as he updated the fourth official on the vibration of his watch connected to the system. The gadget proved the goal scorer was Valladares, the goalkeeper. To clear up the matters, Benzema scored a scorcher after a Derbuchy shot was blocked by the body of Patrice Evra, and the ball kindly rolled to the Real Madrid striker who blasted a canon to the net roof.
This followed a corner-kick that was badly defended by Honduras. For fear of bookings, Didier Dechamps benched Pogba after the second goal and then Valbuena after the third. From that point on, it was easy going for France as they strolled through the park to while up time. They stroked the ball around as they supped the Hondurans’ energy, who just provided a token challenge.
Honduras failed to score a goal at the Fifa World Cup for the fifth time.