Latest Sports Scores

SCOREBOARD

ALL
  • ALL
  • NBA
  • NCAAF
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • NFL
  • Final
    SEA20
    ATL36
  • Final
    HOU16
    NE34
  • Final
    GB34
    DAL31
  • Final
    PIT18
    KC16
  • NBA
  • 1/17 7:30 PM EST
    HOU0
    MIA0
  • 1/17 7:30 PM EST
    TOR0
    BKN0
  • 1/17 8:00 PM EST
    DAL0
    CHI0
  • 1/17 8:30 PM EST
    MIN0
    SA0
  • 1/17 10:30 PM EST
    DEN0
    LAL0
  • NHL
  • 1/17 7:00 PM EST
    DAL0
    NYR0
  • 1/17 7:00 PM EST
    CAR0
    CBJ0
  • 1/17 7:30 PM EST
    BUF0
    TOR0
  • 1/17 8:00 PM EST
    OTT0
    STL0
  • 1/17 8:00 PM EST
    NJ0
    MIN0
  • 1/17 9:00 PM EST
    FLA0
    CGY0
  • 1/17 9:00 PM EST
    CHI0
    COL0
  • 1/17 10:00 PM EST
    NSH0
    VAN0
  • 1/17 10:00 PM EST
    TB0
    ANA0

France beats Swiss 5-2 to take control of Group E

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
16 PHOTOS
France versus Switzerland
See Gallery
France beats Swiss 5-2 to take control of Group E
France's Mamadou Sakho, center, blocks a shot by Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
France's Karim Benzema celebrates before his goal was disallowed after Netherlands referee Bjorn Kulpers had blown his whistle for full time before the ball entered the gaol during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Switzerland's Granit Xhaka, right, celebrates with Goekhan Inler after scoring his side's second goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris reacts after Switzerland's Granit Xhaka scored his side's second goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. At right is France's Raphael Varane. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
France's Moussa Sissoko celebrates after scoring his side's fifth goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
France's Moussa Sissoko celebrates after scoring his side's fifth goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Switzerland's Haris Seferovic (9) walks past his coach Ottmar Hitzfeld after France scored their fifth goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
France's Moussa Sissoko celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Switzerland's Admir Mehmedi leaps over France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after taking a shot on goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
France's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Switzerland's Admir Mehmedi kicks the ball over France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
France's Karim Benzema, right, scores his side's fourth goal past Switzerland's goalkeeper Diego Benaglio during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
France's Karim Benzema, right, celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal, as Switzerland's goalkeeper Diego Benaglio reacts, during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri is tripped by France's Moussa Sissoko during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
France's Olivier Giroud, left, and Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez challenge for the ball during the group E World Cup soccer match between Switzerland and France at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
HIDE CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION


By Jerome Pugmire

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) - Forwards Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema each scored one goal and created another as a rampant France blew away Switzerland 5-2 Friday to take control of Group E and all but seal a place in the next round.

France has six points and can qualify if Ecuador and Honduras draw later Friday.

Giroud and Blasie Matuidi scored a minute apart and Mathieu Valbuena added another to give France a 3-0 halftime lead.

Benzema made up for a first-half penalty miss with a poacher's finish in the 67th, and then turned provider for Moussa Sissoko, who made it 5-0 with a neat side-footed effort in the 73rd.

Switzerland pulled two consolation goals back as Blerim Dzemaili scored with a free kick in the 81st and Granit Xhaka slotted in the second in the 87th.

Benzema thought he had scored his second - and the goal of the night - but his curling, first-time strike was ruled out because Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers blew his whistle for full time just seconds before the shot.

Friday marked the fourth anniversary of France's infamous World Cup training ground strike four years ago in South Africa, when the players shamed a nation back home.

How different things look now.

France has scored eight goals in two games and Benzema could even afford to miss a penalty against a poor Swiss side that failed to live up to its reputation as one of the hardest teams around to break down.

Giroud had distinguished himself the wrong way early on. In the sixth minute, center half Steve Von Bergen came off with blood pouring down from under his left eye after Giroud kicked him in the face challenging for the ball.

Von Bergen was replaced by Philippe Senderos and things went from bad to awful from then on as Switzerland's makeshift defense simply could not cope with the ferocious pace of France's breaks from midfield and the slick movement of its interchanging forward line.

"France has excellent individual players and they can go very far in this tournament. When the opponent has such strong individual players, they can move quickly to counterattack," Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said through a translator. "We have seen France's potential. They had an explosion of power and this shows the class of this team."

Deschamps had dropped midfielder Paul Pogba, who was lucky not to be sent off against Honduras for aiming a wild kick at Wilson Palacios, warning him that he needs to control his temper better.

After coming on as a substitute, Pogba sent an exquisite pass with the outside of his right boot that had Senderos kicking at air, and Benzema finished confidently for his third goal of the tournament. The Real Madrid forward then instigated a move and waited for Sissoko to break down the right, serving him with an inch-perfect pass.

Deschamps waved his hands in frustration after Switzerland's second goal, but it was his substitution - replacing Mamadou Sakho with Laurent Koscielny - that unsettled the defense.

The Swiss conceded too easily throughout the game.

Giroud jumped above Behrami from near the back of the penalty area to head powerfully under the crossbar in the 17th minute. Then, Valon Behrami gave the ball away to Benzema, who fed Matuidi sprinting down the left, and the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder slotted neatly inside the near post.

The Swiss had only one shot on target in the first half, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris diving low to keep out Mehmedi's drive. Shaqiri picked up the rebound and scuffed a low shot that rolled just wide.

That close miss went unpunished by Benzema, who missed from the spot after being tripped by Johan Djourou in the 32nd. Yohan Cabaye hit the crossbar from the rebound.

It mattered little as France caught Switzerland with a classic counterattack, Giroud galloping into space down the left and picking out Valbuena at the back post.

Valbuena sprinted over to jump on Giroud as he gave him a celebratory piggy back-ride.

Read Full Story

From Our Partners