France made a statement in their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ opener, brushing aside 10-man Honduras 3-0 in Porto Alegre.
Les Bleus excelled before and after Wilson Palacios' red card at the end of the first half, but it was not until the resulting penalty that they opened the scoring through Karim Benzema.
The Real Madrid striker also scored his side's third with a thunderous strike and in between played a key part in Noel Valladares' own goal, Benzema's initial shot coming back across goal off the post. For the first time in World Cup history, goal-line technology was used for confirmation.
Coach Didier Deschamps was delighted with his side's opening gambit in Group E. "We've had good times during our preparation, but this is competition. Winning today is a very good start," he said.
"We will enjoy this victory, a 3-0 win in the World Cup, because it's never easy. We were patient. We had our chances and hit the bar twice in the first period. We did well. Pleasure is total in football when there is victory."
Benzema, making his World Cup bow after missing the cut in 2010, was in high spirits having shot his side to victory. Much is expected of the Real Madrid hitman and he was pleased to have delivered by matching Brazil star Neymar's two-goal salvo.
"I had in mind to play a good game, win while also trying to play my football without pressure. I did tonight," he said. "I'm very happy and very proud. But the most important thing is winning. Some judge me on my number of goals but, for me, the way I play counts a lot."