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Benzema eager to finish the job

21 Jun 2014 15:46:51

Benzema eager to finish the job

France all but secured progress to the last-16 with their exhilarating win over Switzerland, with man-of-the-match Karim Benzema wanting to see more of the same against Ecuador.

Les Bleus followed-up victory in their Group E opener against Honduras with a 5-2 defeat of Ottmar Hitzfeld's side in Salvador on Friday.

Didier Deschamps' men were three ahead at half-time thanks to Olivier Giroud, Blaise Matuidi and Mathieu Valbuena, with Benzema and Moussa Sissoko extending that lead before Blerim Dzemaili and Granit Xhaka grabbed late consolation goals.

France have netted eight goals in their two matches and Benzema, who provided two assists on top of his goal, wants more of the same in the final group match with Ecuador.

"We're very pleased with the performance and we'll try to repeat it against Ecuador," the Real Madrid striker said.

"I enjoyed the match, but when we get awards such as this one, it's down to the efforts of the team."

Benzema has been one of the stars of the tournament so far, with his three goals putting him joint-top of the World Cup scoring charts.

"I'm happy and proud," he said. "It was a big game, we scored goals, we played as a team. We had heart to win that game.

"I am in my head, 100 per cent, but I can do even better. I also take the work of my teammates. It's not me, it's everyone.

"Even those who did not start the first game and who have returned for this one."

Group leaders France now take on the team behind them, Ecuador, in Rio de Janeiro, while third-placed Switzerland take on pointless Honduras.

That match will be played in the heat and humidity of Manaus - difficult conditions - but captain Gokhan Inler is confident of overcoming them as they look to make it out of Group E.

"To let in five goals against France is hard," the midfielder said. "We must try to make fewer mistakes.

"It's not over yet. It's just a game, it is still open to the last game.

"Everyone needs to scrutinize and be critical of their performance, then we need to prepare positively the Honduras game."

Switzerland will be without Steve von Bergen for their final match and any more in Brazil after he broke a cheekbone in the defeat to Les Bleus.

The Young Boys defender was accidentally kicked in the face by Olivier Giroud and will be taken back to Switzerland after going to hospital in Salvador.


PA

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