FIFA U-17 WC: France beats Honduras, tops Group E

Barring the first goal, Honduras struggled to stitch one good move, and mostly indulged in midfield play, unable to break through the defence wall put up by France.

Flips' brace sank Honduras in a match which saw it concede five goals to France.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

The French attack looked very much like a blunt knife with the coach Lionel Rouxel opting for fresh legs and keeping the star players Amine Gouiri and Yacine Adli in the substitute bench.

Only goalkeeper Yahia Fofana, playmaker Maxence Caqueret and forward William Geubbels had been on the field for a substantial amount of time in the team’s previous two fixtures.

It didn’t matter much in the end as the former champion defeated Honduras 5-1 in its last Group-E match of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Saturday.

With victories in all three of its encounters, France topped the group while Honduras, too qualified for the playoffs as the third best-placed team.

Starting with a 4-3-3 formation, France began promisingly with quite a few attempts at the post, but it was Honduras which went ahead when a lax defence, marshalled by William Bianda and Batista Mendy, saw Carlos Mejia convert.

However, France equalised soon after, thanks to Wilson Isidor, whose left-footer packed quite a punch.

Barring the first goal, Honduras struggled to stitch one good move, and mostly indulged in midfield play, unable to break through the defence wall put up by France.

An unmarked Alexis Flips, playing his first match, struck from close range off a cross by Wilson Isidor.

The absence of Gouiri was visible as Geubbels, Isidor and Flips missed straight-forward chances. After several failed attempts, France finally converted when skipper Claudio Gomes’ low chip past the ‘keeper was slotted home by Flips.

Adli came out of the substitution bench in the 74th minute and with striker Gouiri, combined to score the team’s fourth goal - a looping pass by the former was received by Gouiri who had enough time to find the back of the net. During injury time, Adli converted from a brilliant free-kick.

In the Round of 16 matches of the U-17 World Cup, France will take on Spain on October 17 in Guwahati while Honduras meets Brazil in Kochi on October 18.

The results:

Group-E: France 5 (Wilson Isidor 14, Alexis Flips 23 & 64, Amine Gouiri 86 & Yacine Adli 90+6) vs Honduras 1 (Carlos Mejia 10).

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :