By LAWRIE MIFFLIN
BRAZIL, June 21 (NyTimes) France truly blitzed Switzerland — midfielders, forwards, wing backs all surging downfield together. Winning 5-2, the French got their five goals from five different players: Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi, Mathieu Valbuena, Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko.
The Swiss had moments of possession, but they did seem like mere moments. In the final 10 minutes of the game, Switzerland managed to score two goals — by Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka — which will help them if goal difference becomes a factor in deciding who goes through to the next round. But they shouldn’t need that. Their final opponent is Honduras, and if the Swiss win that game, they are likely to be safe.
France, now on top of the group with 6 points from two games, only need to tie Ecuador in their final match, next Wednesday, to get through.
An optimistic omen for the French is that the last time they won their two opening games (as they’ve done here) was in 1998 — and they went on to win the whole tournament, in Paris. Although no European team has ever won the World Cup in South America, France looks like a fine candidate to try to be the first.