France among favorites to win World Cup after 5-2 victory over Switzerland

By Brian McMahon,
Five different players scored for France as they dominated an over matched Swiss side

France had five different men score as they cruised to a 5-2 victory against an over-matched Switzerland.

After overwhelming Honduras in their opening 3-0 victory, France took on their neighbors, Switzerland, who scored a late goal to defeat Ecuador in their opening match.

France picked up where they left off against Honduras, opening the scoring in the 17th minute with a goal from Olivier Giroud, who is one France's three starting forwards. The 6'4 Arsenal man out jumped the Swiss defenders and beautifully headed in the corner kick from Mathieu Valbuena to put France in front.

Before the French supporters in Arena Fonte Nova could get back in their seats, France had struck again. Just 67 seconds after Giroud's opener, Blaise Matuidi took a pass from Karim Benzima and beat the Swiss goalkeeper near post.

In what was supposed to be the most competitive game in Group E, France had a 2-0 lead and were in complete control before the 20-minute mark.

Switzerland thought they had gotten back in the game in the 27th minute, but Granit Xhaka celebration was cut short when he realized he was called for offsides.

The Swiss nearly scored again in the 30th minute but French goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, made two straight saves, one with his finger tips, to keep Switzerland at bay.

The game could have been out of reach in the 31st minute when Karim Benzema earned a penalty after a foolish challenge by Johan Djourou. Benzema, who scored two goals in Frances opening victory (including a penalty) was rejected by Swiss goalkeeper, Diego Benaglio. Yohan Cabaye should have scored on the rebound but his right-footed effort bounced off the post and out of danger.

Benaglio's save was soon forgotten as France managed to get their third goal of the first half just eight minutes later. Mathieu Valbuena scored a close range goal on a pass from Giroud as Switzerland failed to defend the counter-attacking French.

In the 67th minute, Benzima made up for his poorly taken penalty and showed why he is regarded as one of the best forwards in the world. The Real Madrid star contorted his body and managed to get his right foot on a Paul Pogba pass to put France up 4-0. The goal is Benzima's third of the tournament, which means he is tied with Robin an Persie and Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as the leading scorers in the World Cup.

France would keep pouring it on, going up 5-0 with a Moussa Sissoko goal in the 73rd minute.

Switzerland, who are the top seeded group in Group E, got a consolation goal on a spectacular free kick of the right foot of Blerim Dzemaili in the 81st minute.

They managed to get a second six minutes later when Granit Xhaka, who plays his club soccer Borussia Monchengladbach, was able to beat Hugo Lloris to make the score 5-2.

France, who Bleacher Report predicted wold lose in the quarterfinals, now have to be considered one of the favorites with a high powered offense that has scored eight goals in two games.

Swiss head coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, will not miss days like this, the German-born coach is retiring after the World Cup, according to Telegraph.

France will likely win the group, and barring something unusual, Switzerland can still finish second in the group if they win their last match against Honduras.



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