Brazil World Cup 2014 Schedule: Group D Fixtures. Switzerland Vs. France
France has not been considered a ‘title contender’ in the Brazil World Cup 2014, but the shocking series of goals against Switzerland certainly shuts up its toughest critics. Nicknamed ‘Les Blues’, France did the ‘near-impossible’ scoring 5-2 to beat Switzerland, who have never made it to the finals.
Playing in Salvador, France played and won two games advancing into Round 2. The last time France went into the second stage, it won the final at home in 1998, when former legendary captain of France, Michel Platini co-organized World Cup 1998 in his home country. Hopefully, that foreshadows a similar outcome for France in Brazil World Cup 2014.
Didier Deschamps is the current French boss and he is tapping into new talent like Karim Benzema. The funny thing about Benzema is that every time it pushes its forward into the penalty area, there is a threat of scoring and this cannot be said of many teams – not even Brazil or Argentina. But Uruguay with Louis Suarez might be a different story.
Karim Benzema’s goal against the Swiss was a well-timed right legged swing from the moving French striker, placing the ball into Switzerland’s upper-left corner. He also added two assists providing the kind of momentum they needed to pound Switzerland with 5 goals. The French win was a team effort with Benzema leading the frontline.
Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld responded to skeptics via ABC News ahead of the game. He was emphatic about playing time around if they are to qualify with their opponent to advance in group play.”If we want to stand a chance against France, we will have to play beyond our limits,” Hitzfeld told The Associated Press. “In the first match, we were a bit nervous. We have to be calmer and more composed.”
However, the Group E Fixture appeared to be running away from the Swiss, when Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud was given a shot at play by Deschamps, taking a calculated risk. However, Giroud converted with a header going into the net in the 17th min. Just a min. later, you would not guess Blaise Matuidi’s low flying shot would slip pass Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio.
That pretty much sealed any hope for a comeback strategy for Switzerland, no matter how it looked from the two sides.
The two goals scored back to back could have been three, but Benzema’s penalty shot was sabotaged by good keeping from goalie Benaglio. Penalties are nerve-wrecking in World Cup matches and even the best strikers are known to miss penalties. But in the 40th min. Giroud set up an assist for Mathieu Valbuena from close to the net.
The goals kept coming with Benzema scoring his second of the game in the 67th min, making it 4 for France. Moussa Sissoko then put the icing on the cake with a sweet 81st mn goal.
But the Swiss did salvage some of their respect in the last 10 minutes with Blerim Dzemaili beating Hugo Lloris in a free kick scored in the 81st minute and Granit Xhaka paring the team deficit to 3 in the 87th mn.