FOOTBALL NEWS

20/06/2014 21:52, Report by Nick Coppack
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Evra's France crush Swiss

Patrice Evra played 90 minutes on Friday as France all-but-secured safe passage to the World Cup knockout rounds by thrashing Switzerland 5-2 in Salvador.

Didier Deschamps' side were 5-0 up before a late Swiss rally, with most of the damage done in the first half. Indeed, Les Bleus looked in complete control from the first whistle and took just 17 minutes to take the lead through Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.

Giroud powered home a header from a right-wing corner and then, just 13 seconds after the restart, Les Bleus were celebrating again. This time it was Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi, shooting past Diego Benaglio at the near post.

Switzerland thought they'd equalised on 27 minutes when Granit Xhaka volleyed home from six yards but he was correctly ruled offside. Five minutes later Karim Benzema was placing the ball on the penalty spot at the other end after he'd been clumsily fouled by Johan Djourou. 

The Real Madrid striker's spot-kick was well saved by Benaglio, though, while Yohan Cabaye spurned the follow-up by blasting wildly against the post.

France made amends for those misses five minutes before the break when Matthieu Valbuena capped a classic counter-attack by sweeping home Giroud's low cross from close range.

Benzema, France's two-goal hero from their opening match against Honduras, finally got on the scoresheet – his

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