France, Switzerland, Argentina win

France, Switzerland and Argentina emerge winners on day 4 of World 2014, goal-line technology is used for the first time and stars shine in Brazil.

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Honduras' goalkeeper and captain Noel Valladares handles the ball to score an own goal from a shot by France's Karim Benzema during a Group E football match between France and Honduras at the Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre. Goal-line technology was used for the first time to confirm the goal. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE

Video highlights: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186496/index.html

France beat Honduras as goal-line technology makes history

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, AFP – Karim Benzema scored twice as France beat 10-man Honduras 3-0 in a bruising World Cup clash on Sunday where goal-line technology awarded the first international goal in history.

Three minutes into the second period, the GoalControl computer referee was called into action when a Benzema volley hurtled off a post.

The ball flew across the face of the goal before hitting Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares and then rebounding into the goal.

Valladares tried to scoop the ball to safety, but Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci awarded the goal – classed as an own-goal – after consulting the instant technology.

Ricci had a big call to make midway through the half when Pogba clashed with Palacios.

The Juventus midfielder lashed out at Palacios after appearing to be stamped on, but Ricci showed only yellow cards to both.

Palacios was only to last another 16 minutes in any case as he stupidly bundled Pogba over inside the area a minute before half-time and was shown his second yellow card.

France's forward Karim Benzema (C) scores past Honduras' goalkeeper Noel Valladares. AFP PHOTO / LUIS ACOSTA

Benzema stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick to register his seventh goal in as many games for France and his first in a World Cup.

The 26-year-old was heavily involved again as France doubled their advantage within three minutes of the second-half courtesy of the goal line technology.

Benzema should have added to his tally moments later when he was picked out by a fine low cross from Griezmann but could only fire straight at Valladares.

However, he wasn't to be denied 18 minutes from time when he fired expertly high past Valladares from a narrow angle to seal the three points.

Switzerland's forward Haris Seferovic (R) scores past Ecuador's goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez during a Group E football match between Switzerland and Ecuador at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia. AFP PHOTO/ ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT

Video highlights: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186494/index.html

Seferovic gives Swiss last-gasp win over Ecuador

BRASILIA, AFP – Haris Seferovic scored in the last minute of injury time to grab Switzerland a dramatic 2-1 win over Ecuador in their Group E game at the World Cup finals in Brasilia on Sunday.

Seferovic's winner capped a remarkable comeback by the top seeds in the group as fellow substitute Admer Mehmidi had taken just 121 seconds to make his mark as he levelled the game in the 48th minute.

Enner Valencia had given Ecuador the lead midway through the first-half as he scored for the fifth successive game for his country.

Both teams were not content to settle for a draw even as the match entered time added on and it was Ecuador who looked like they had grabbed the three points when Michael Arroyo was shaping up to shoot inside the area only for a superb tackle by Valon Behrami to dispossess him.

Behrami showing the hard-headed experience of a man appearing in his third World Cup finals, then pushed forward and although he was subject to a crunching tackle in the middle of the pitch the referee played a brilliant advantage in waving play on.

The ball was worked out to the left flank and when it was whipped in Seferovic was on hand to tuck the ball inside the near post and send the Swiss contingent wild.

Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Group F football match between Argentina and Bosnia Hercegovina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA

Video highlights: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186477/index.html

Messi inspires tough Argentina win over Bosnia

RIO DE JANEIRO,  AFP – Lionel Messi scored a trademark individual goal as Argentina opened their World Cup campaign with a narrow 2-1 win over Bosnia-Hercegovina at Rio de Janeiro's renovated Maracana on Sunday.

The Barcelona superstar created the third-minute own goal by Sead Kolasinac with which Argentina went ahead, but it took a mid-match tactical shift for him to really start influencing proceedings.

Argentina's forward Sergio Aguero (L) fights for the ball with Bosnia-Hercegovina's defender Sead Kolasinac and Bosnia-Hercegovina's defender and captain Emir Spahic (R). AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

In the 65th minute he scored a goal befitting of the iconic 78,800-seater stadium, collecting the ball deep and exchanging passes with Gonzalo Higuain before darting past a pair of defenders and slamming home via the base of the left-hand post.

It was only the second World Cup goal of the 26-year-old's career and substitute Vedad Ibisevic's late reply for Bosnia meant that it proved decisive.

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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