France opened their Group E World Cup campaign on Sunday with an impressive 3-0 win over Honduras. Karim Benzema had a pair of goals, including a penalty scored just before halftime, and Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares scored an own goal.
France looked like the stronger team from the first whistle. Honduras sat back and defended as best they could and constantly looked for fouls, getting the attention of the referee and resulting in three yellow cards for France. Chivas USA midfielder Marvin Chavez did not see any action in the game, which was perhaps in part influenced by the ejection of Wilson Palacios midway through the game.
Honduras were slow in the midfield and looked lost, just as they so often did in their warm-up friendlies. I don't know if the presence of Chavez could have changed the end result but I feel he could have added a bit of control and more attacking options for Honduras. Once Honduras went down to 10 men in the 43rd min, after Palacios' second yellow, I knew we wouldn't be seeing Chavez's name called off the bench.
Honduras' next group match will be June 20th at 3pm PT against Ecuador, who will also be looking for a win after their loss against Switzerland on Sunday.
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