Lille boy Alexis Flips helps France top Group E
Written by: FIFA
The French finished the group with a perfect record winning all three of their games.
There were three goals scored by the midway point of the first half at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, with Honduras taking an early lead against the run of play through Carlos Mejia.
Though they made nine changes for Saturday’s game, France started the game brightly and did not let the central Americans’ opener affect them. Four minutes after Mejia’s strike, Wilson Isidor finished off a fine Bleuets move to level matters. Isidor then turned provider for France’s second goal on 23 minutes, as his cross was neatly struck home by Alexis Flips.
Watch France 5-1 Honduras Highlights
The French found another gear in the second half, creating numerous chances to extend their lead. On 64 minutes, Flips scored his second of the match by assuring Claudio Gomes’s goal-bound effort found the back of the empty net.
Then tournament-leading goalscorer Amine Gouiri struck his fifth of the competition before Yacine Adli powered home a free-kick to seal victory for France and set up a Round of 16 clash with European rivals Spain. Honduras, meanwhile, will meet South American champions Brazil in the knockout stages.
Keito Nakamura scored his fourth goal of the competition early in the first half, and Jekob Jeno equalised dramatically in the 83rd minute for New Caledonia.
Although Japan had the vast majority of possession and dominated statistically, the Oceania representatives showed marked improvement following on from lopsided defeats to France and Honduras in their first two matches. And they showed great bravery to fight their way back into a first half, in which they went behind in the sixth minute to Nakamura’s shot from a tight angle and saw their woodwork rattled twice.
Watch New Caledonia 1-1 Japan Highlights
Spurred on by the appreciative Indian crowd in Kolkata, they had a good chance to equalise near the half-hour mark when Bernard Iwa broke free into the Japanese third, but he launched a hasty shot from the edge of the area with just the goalkeeper to beat.
The second half was even more balanced, and Theo Bosshard almost scored from a great position inside the Japanese box in the 60th minute, but his shot flashed past the right post. Another good chance was denied by the Japanese goalkeeper, who tipped a shot around the post, but it was from that corner that Jeno headed in his goal.
Published: Sat Oct 14, 2017 09:50 PM IST