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Les Blues breeze through the Swiss challenge

France and Switzerland won their opening games and would both be looking for a win to seize control of this crucial group E encounter.

Sissoko and Giroud started ahead of Pogba and Griezmann for France. On the 8th minute, the buzzing Giroud left his booth on the face of Von Bergen and abruptly ended his evening with Senderos coming on in his place.

France, who had been dictating play, opened the scoring on the 17th minute with a strong Giroud header off a corner kick by Valbuena. The ferocity of the header ensured the best efforts of the Swiss keeper; Diego Benaglio could not keep the ball out. Right after the kick off, an erring pass by Behrami to Benzema led to France’s second goal as the sprinting Matuidi took full advantage and scored on the 18th minute.

Switzerland had an opportunity to get back in the game, but Seferovic’s shot was saved by Lloris. A tackle by Djourou on Benzema led to a penalty kick which was saved by Benaglio with the following shot by Cabaye hitting the crossbar.

The lively Shaqiri was getting his stamp in the game but the French still looked dangerous on the counter. A defensive headed clearance by Giroud from a Swiss corner, saw him belt down the pitch, receive the ball back and lay a measured pass across goal to Valbuena, who slotted home for their third of the night. Switzerland could not live with the France’s blistering counter attacking moves. First half ended Switzerland 0: France 3.

Switzerland started the second hand brighter but France soon took control of the game. It would take an something extraordinary for the Swiss to get back into this game. On the 63rd minute, Pogba came on for Giroud in a move to further control the midfield. The spirited Swiss kept attacking but were fluffing their lines in the numerous chances created. Koscielny came on for the injured Sakho and right after, a fine pass from Pogba was deflected by Inler unto Benzema, who finished coolly.

The mauling continued on the 73rd minute when Sissoko finished from another counter attacking move from a Benzema assist. The brave Benaglio pulled off save after save to deny the rampaging French.

On the 81st minute, Dzemaili’s 30 yard free kick zipped through the wall into the bottom right corner for a consolation goal. The goal brought a new impetus to the Swiss play and Inler’s imaginative looping pass released Xhaka, who finished with aplomb for their second. Their enterprising play began to test the resolve of the French and Cabaye’s caution meant he would miss their last group match.

The Referee’s whistle went just before Benzema scored off a cross from Sissoko, but the goal was not to stand. The match ended Switzerland 2: France 5; a spirited performance by the Swiss to make this a contest in the closing minutes.

The brilliant Benzema led the line majestically for this French side who look set to go far in this competition.

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About Kene Okoye

A creative writer, banker, pianist, composer and music promoter, Kene documents events and presents his viewpoint in compelling narratives. He sets out to create vivid pictures with his intelligent use of words and seeks to engage, thrill, educate and inspire the reader. Come on and enjoy yourself.

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