The second of our matches sees the 2014 World Cup arrive in Porto Alegre for the match between Frances and Honduras in Group E. This evening’s match is being played at the Estadio Beira-Rio, the home of SC Internacional, with their city’s rivals also recently revamped Arena do Grêmio having been overlooked for this tournament. For France, this tournament is an opportunity to get their World Cup finals record back on track after the abysmal failure of four years ago when, in one of the big surprises of an underwhelming group stage across the entire competition, they were eliminated after three matches without a win and with the squad having threatened to go on strike.
This time around, there are no such concerns that the players will only be barely speaking to the coach by the time these three games are over. France only qualified for the tournament by the skin of their teeth, and after they lost the first leg of their qualification play-off match by two goals to nil against Ukraine last November, it looked as if they might even fail to get through to the finals of the tournament for the first time since 1974. In the return leg at the Stade de France, however, everything changed. A three-nil win sent them through to the finals, and friendly matches since then which have included an eight-nil rout against Jamaica and a two-nil win against the Netherlands have instilled a degree of confidence in the French public that this team might just be coming together at the right time.
Honduras, meanwhile, are in the finals of the competition for only the third time. Their first appearance came in 1982, when they finished bottom of their group but in two extremely creditable performances to earn draws against both the host nation Spain and Northern Ireland. Four years ago in South Africa, they could manage just one point from their three matches, but failed to score a single goal and were eliminated from the tournament with one game to spare. In qualifying, they finished in third place in the CONCACAF qualifying group, behind the United States of America and Costa Rica and four points above one of that region’s traditional powerhouses, Mexico. Indeed, Honduras beat Mexico both home and away in that qualification round and also beat the USA at home, so perhaps underestimating them might turn out to be something of a fool’s errand. Ian King and Rob Freeman will be with you from shortly before eight o’clock.
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But then Robbie Savage has just said that he remembers 1962.
Even Robbie Savage though Honduras were OTT.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll love it to be wrong, but you could see air between the post and the ball the second time around.
Pat Nevin disagrees with it too, saying he thinks the technology was wrong (and without a conclusive TV angle, there’s no way of knowing).
I won’t believe the third has actually gone in until the goalline technology tells us.
Well it wasn’t in, Jonathan. It’s not 3-0. Can he be demoted to ITV?
Is it just me or is Martin Keown obsessed with what people have in their lockers?
It’s not *that* baffling Jonathan – it bounced off the post then the keeper bundled it in…
Goal line technology FARCE!
I’ve reheated last nights bolonese. Fully. No half measures here.
If Thierry Henry is representing France, is Robbie Savage representing Honduras’ style of play?
It’s always satisfying to see a hatchet man getting his comeuppance.
ITV will have a red card the size of the Hublot boards of course
There was a long wait before he got to take it.
The BBC score bar is a Van Gogh when you look at ITV’s monstrosity.
Phew that red bit is on everyone’s screen, thought it was something breaking
The BBC have added a little red card to their score graphic so you know someone’s been sent off.
Pelanty and red card.
Moustache or no moustache, it’s your vision.
Or rutting away in the red light district.
Actually, yeah, the Dutch were 2010’s representatives of Sam Allardyce.
Gratuitous England reference because Sakho made his debut against them.
Honduras in 2010?
Clearly Palacios learned his trade at Stoke.
Looks like your earlier prediction might be right Rob.
That French kit could only be improved by swapping the FFF badge for an Ipswich Town one, and adding Pioneer, or, er… Radio Orwell on the red stripe.
A Minor error.
Jonathan Pearce clearly getting his research from us, there. Tell them about Ted’s lasagne.
And Valladares tips a Blaise Matuidi shot onto the crossbar. What a great name that is. I reckon he’s named after a Burlesque troupe.
Why don’t these FIFA edicts ever apply to Brazil’s kits? Brazil are allowed yellow shirts with blue shorts, but Colombia aren’t, for example. France should ask FIFA what language their name is in, and who invented the competition, and wear white shorts, and if that fails strike. To meekly accept it is unFrench.
I really fancy a sending off in this one. In the build up, both the French camp and French TV have been critical of the somewhat physical style that Honduras have shown in friendlies and qualifiers.