FIFA World Cup 2014, Highlights: France Crush Switzerland 5-2; Strengthen Last 16 Chances
France scored five times in a Group E match against Switzerland to virtually assure themselves of a Last 16 finish in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They beat Switzerland 5-2 in the end. Catch all the highlights here.
France beat Switzerland 5-2 in a Group E match to boost their chances of reaching the knockout stages. Catch highlights here: (Matchcentre)
02:21 (IST): France beat Switzerland 5-2; strengthen their chances of a Last 16 spot. They lead Group E with six points.
02:20 (IST): 90' GOAL CHALKED OFF. Karim Benzema - how's your luck? The Real Madrid forward latches onto a pass from the left and curls a beauty into the top corner, but the full time whistle had blown a split second before he made connection with the ball. At first Benzema celebrates, but it won't count. It ends Switzerland 2-5 France in Salvador. What a match!
02:17 (IST): 90' THREE MINUTES OF INJURY TIME. We will have three additional minutes at the end of this match in Salvador. Time for one more goal?
02:14 (IST): 87' Granit Xhaka (Switzerland) scores a goal! Switzerland 2 France 5. What odds would you get for a 5-5 draw in this one? Obviously that won't happen with time running out, but take nothing away from the quality of this Switzerland goal, regardless of how meaningless it is. Granit Xhaka plays the ball in-field to Gokhan Inler before sprinting onto the return pass. Debuchy had played him onside, and Xhaka made the most of it as he rifled home a first-time volley inside Lloris' near post. Another great goal to add to the ever growing collection at this World Cup.
02:08 (IST): 81' It's a goal and this time Blerim Dzemaili (Switzerland) is the scorer! Switzerland 1 France 5. Switzerland have a free-kick, just left of centre, 30 yards out. Blerim Dzemaili sizes it up before unleashing a vicious shot that somehow gets through the shoddy French wall and past the diving Hugo Lloris into the bottom corner. It's a great strike from Dzemaili, but that will be of little consolation to Ottmar Hitzfeld, who will be very disappointed with the way his side have performed tonight.
02:00 (IST): 73' The ball hits the back of the net yet again! Moussa Sissoko keeps his calm and scores! France lead 5-0 . I don't want to leap to any assumptions, but I think this game is all over. Again it's a poor ball from Switzerland in midfield that does the damage with Gokhan Inler the guilty party this time around. Karim Benzema picks up the loose ball, feeds Moussa Sissoko on the right-hand side, and he makes a very hard finish look extremely easy as he calmly rolls the ball into the far corner. Things are going from bad to worse for Ottmar Hitzfeld's men.
01:54 (IST): 67' Benzema fires the ball inside the back of the net! He makes it France 4 Switzerland 0. Breathtaking stuff! France have been brilliant all night, and this goal is possibly the best of the bunch. Substitute Paul Pogba, who was recently voted to be the best young player in Europe, picks up a ball from the right before dinking in a delicious ball over the top that eludes Senderos and Djourou and finds Karim Benzema in the six-yard box. Benzema settles himself, swivels and buries a volley under Diego Benaglio in the Swiss goal.
01:50 (IST): 63' The referee signals a substitution. Paul Pogba (France) is in as a substitute for Olivier Giroud. No doubt that France have a quality bench always warming up in situations like this.
01:47 (IST): 60' Benzema's shot is deflected over the bar for a corner! France all over the Swiss penalty box.
01:45 (IST): 58' VENOMOUS DRIVE. Blerim Dzemaili makes the most of a well-worked Switzerland move as the ball breaks to him all alone on the edge of the France area. He decides to have a dig, and he connects with it well, but the ball drifts a couple of inches over the angle of the post and bar.
01:39 (IST): 52' AWFUL DELIVERY. Xherdan Shaqiri gets the better of Moussa Sissoko with some flicks and tricks on the left-hand side, and forces the Newcastle man into giving away a free-kick in a good position. Unfortunately for the Swiss, Shaqiri's ball in is cleared away by the first man. It hasn't been their day has it? And there's still 40 minutes to go as well.
01:36 (IST): 49' CONFIDENCE FLOWING. Didier Deschamps' team are definitely playing like an outfit who are 3-0 up, as they are swaggering their way through this game at the moment. After Blerim Dzemaili gives away the ball in midfield, the trio of Giroud, Valbuena and Matuidi exchange lightning quick passes with supreme skill before a Swiss defender eventually gets in to escape with the ball. This could be a long 45 minutes for the men in red.
01:34 (IST): 47' GREAT TACKLE. Mamadou Sakho sees Admir Mehmedi haring into the France box and puts a stop to it with a fine sliding challenge, putting the ball behind for a corner. The Swiss players are incensed, as they feel that was excessive force from Sakho, but the referee rightly kept his whistle out of his mouth. Never a penalty.
01:33 (IST): 46' The manager has decided to substitute Behrami (Switzerland) and Dzemaili will replace him. Meanwhile, we hear that Von Bergen has been taken to the hospital after he sustained a kick to his eye area early in this game.
01:13 (IST): The halftime whistle has been blown and France have scored 3 times already before the break. They lead Switzerland 3-0.
01:08 (IST): 40' Mathieu Valbuena (France) gets on the scoresheet and extends France's lead to 3-0 over Switzerland. This is surely game over now? France have a third goal, and it comes from a move that is as smooth as a Rolls Royce. Raphael Varane guides an inch perfect ball down the left for Giroud, who in turn crosses the ball for Mathieu Valbuena, who has the easy task of slotting into an empty net from three yards out. We're not even in first half injury time, and the French are already home and dry!
01:07 (IST): 39' TOO GREEDY. The Swiss once more lose possession far too easily in their own half, which allows Mathieu Debuchy to find Benzema. The striker, perhaps feeling the need to make up for his spot-kick miss, goes it alone and gets crowded out on the edge of the area, despite having options either side of him. Will these missed opportunities end up haunting the French?
01:04 (IST): 36' SUB MADE A DIFFERENCE? It's been a mad last ten minutes or so, but after all that drama we finally have time to gather our thoughts. Switzerland have been caught half asleep on numerous occasions in this first half - did the introduction of Philippe Senderos to the Swiss backline have anything to do with this? It's an interesting talking point.
01:00 (IST): 32' Well, Benzema misses his penalty. Hasn't there already been enough in this game? Amazing turn of events. Where do I start here?! Karim Benzema runs onto a through ball into the area, and seems to trip over his own foot in the presence of Johan Djourou, but the referee penalises the former Arsenal defender by awarding a penalty. Benzema steps up to take it himself, but his kick is tame and Benaglio palms it away. Yohan Cabaye rushes in to try and bury the rebound from two yards out, but somehow contrives to hit the bar! Switzerland survive, and they still have a pulse in this clash.
00:59 (IST): 31' France on the counter-attack now. Benzema gets them a PENALTY! Swiss missing their chances.
00:57 (IST): 29' JUST WIDE. Switzerland are just starting to come back into this match now, and are inches away from getting a goal back. Admir Mehmedi hares at the centre of the French backline and releases a shot that is parried away by Hugo Lloris, but only as far as Xherdan Shaqiri. Shaqiri guides a left-footed shot towards the far bottom corner, but the ball trickles agonisingly wide. The next goal in this match is going to be massive you sense.
00:56 (IST): 28' DISALLOWED GOAL. This match is really heating up nicely now, as Switzerland start to celebrate halving the deficit as Xherdan Shaqiri prods home Gokhan Inler's mishit shot from 20 yards. Unfortunately for the Bayern Munich flyer, the flag had rightly been raised, and the goal doesn't stand.
00:51 (IST): 23' SWISS SHELL-SHOCKED. France had made a better start to the game than their opponents, and they caught Ottmar Hitzfeld's men napping twice in quick succession there, with Benaglio maybe a little suspect for the second goal. As the oft used cliche goes, Switzerland have a mountain to climb now.
00:48 (IST): 20' SWITZERLAND 0-2 FRANCE. France could well have won this game in the space of 30 seconds! Straight from the kick-off after that Giroud goal, Valon Behrami clumsily gives the ball away to Karim Benzema, who charges at the Swiss backline before releasing Blaise Matuidi on the outside. The midfielder fools Diego Benaglio by shooting in at the near post instead of going across goal, and all of a sudden Didier Deschamps' side are in dreamland!
00:46 (IST): 18' It is in the back of the net once again! Blaise Matuidi calmly beats the goalkeeper. France 2-0 ahead!
00:45 (IST): 17' GOOOAAALLL!!! There's been a chance now, and there's been a goal! Olivier Giroud gives France the lead in Salvador! This is also France's 100th World Cup goal.
00:40 (IST): 11' SURELY A BOOKING? As Switzerland look to launch a counter-attack, Mathieu Debuchy brings Ricardo Rodriguez down to ground with a cynical lunge on the touchline. The referee awards the free-kick, but declines to give the Newcastle man a booking - looking at the replays, Debuchy was lucky to escape unpunished there.
00:38 (IST): 9' Substitution. Philippe Senderos (Switzerland) replaces Steve von Bergen, who has quit the field injured. He was kicked in the eye area. Unfortunately, Steve Von Bergen cannot continue as blood continues to pour from around his eye, so Philippe Senderos will come on to replace him. He will slot into the centre-back position alongside Johan Djourou for the Swiss.
00:36 (IST): 7' Game is stopped for a bit, Steve von Bergen (Switzerland) picks up a knock and the physio has to arrive. Steve Von Bergen looks to be in a spot of bother here as he receives a boot to the chest from Olivier Giroud as the two contest for a loose ball in the middle of the park. It was innocent enough from Giroud, but it looks as though Von Bergen is in serious pain here.
00:35 (IST): 6' Benzema curls it just wide off the top right side of the post. Encouraging start for France. Karim Benzema already has two goals at this World Cup, and he is not too far away from notching himself a third here. The Real Madrid man plays a lovely one-two on the angle of the Switzerland box with Blaise Matuidi, before curling an effort towards far post. Diego Benaglio watches it sail a couple of inches wide, however.
00:32 (IST): 3' These two sides haven't started like teams who are feeling confident after opening match victories, as Yohan Cabaye, then Gokhan Inler give the ball away cheaply within moments of each other - France are giving a lot of respect to the creative players in Switzerland's midfield, as they are pressing high up and trying to stop them at source.
00:30 (IST): 1' WE'RE UNDERWAY. Switzerland get the game started in Salvador - the second round of matches are under way in Group E.
00:20 (IST): 0' CHANGES FOR BOTH. So Switzerland bring super-subs Haris Seferovic and Admir Mehmedi into the staring line-up, while France also make some changes with Paul Pogba dropping out (possibly due to being one yellow card away from a suspension) for Moussa Sissoko, while Olivier Giroud comes in for Antoine Griezmann.
00:16 (IST): Here is a view of the fans and the police force making their way to the Arena Fonte Nova Stadium at Salvador, Brazil.
00:14 (IST): 0'
Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Rodriguez, Inler, Djourou, Von Begen, Shaqiri, Behrami, Seferovic, Xhaka, Mehmedi.
Subs: Ziegler, Senderos, Lang, Barnetta, Sommer, Stocker, Dzemaili, Fernandes, Gavranovic, Drmic, Burki, Schar.
France: Lloris, Debuchy, Evra, Cabaye, Varane, Sakho, Sissoko, Matuidi, Giroud, Valbuena, Benzema.
Subs: Cabrella, Griezmann, Mavuba, Mangala, Sagna, Ruffier, Digne, Pogba, Remy, Koscielny, Schneiderlin, Landreau.
00:13 (IST): 0' FANCY THE FRENCH OR SUPPORT THE SWISS? With the 2014 World Cup now over a week old, the group stage matches are starting to take huge significance, and the result of this clash in Salvador could have a huge bearing on deciding who goes through as winners of Group E. Whoever emerges victorious in this one would be huge favourites to progress to the next stage in top spot, and could go through later tonight dependent on the result of the match between Ecuador and Honduras. The stats suggest there is little to split these two, as the last three times they have met the spoils have been shared. The last time France took on Switzerland in the World Cup no goals were scored, as the game ended in a stalemate.
00:02 (IST): 0' FRANCE NOT FEELING THE BLEUS THIS TIME. In 1998 they triumphed, in 2002 they were humbled, in 2006 they were one step away and in 2010 they were an embarrassment. If you are a believer in patterns in football, then you should be of the assumption that France will go far in this competition. It's a case of so far so good for Didier Deschamps' men, as they ran out convincing 3-0 winners against a very physical Honduras side in their first group game, and are now on a six-match unbeaten run. With Karim Benzema in amongst the goals and Paul Pogba coming through as a future star, everything is looking rosy for Les Bleus. Tonight should show us just how high their confidence levels are.
Switzerland are trying to pile the pressure on France by claiming the underdog tag for the Alpine neighbours' World Cup Group E clash in Salvador on Friday.
Super-sub Haris Seferovic netted in the last minute of injury time to claim a 2-1 come-back victory after the Swiss had fallen behind to Enner Valencia's first-half header.
Sixth-placed Switzerland are 11 places higher than the French according to FIFA's rankings, but insist those standings mean nothing. (Read Full Preview)