France opened their match against Switzerland by scoring in the 17th and 18th minutes, but the best moment of the first half for them came after Mathieu Valbuena made it 3-0 shortly before halftime. After scoring on the break with a pass from Olivier Giroud across the face of goal, the 5-foot 6 Valbuena jumped on the 6-foot 4 Giroud for a piggyback ride.
This moment illustrated the massive difference between France's destructive infighting at the 2010 World Cup and their renewed sense of unity this time around. According to Opta, they have now scored three goals in consecutive group stage matches for the first time since 1998 — the year they won the World Cup on home soil.
In the second half, France added two more goals to push the score to 5-0 before Switzerland finally got on the scoreboard in the 18st minute with a free kick that squirted through the legs of France's wall. They added another five minutes later to make it a deceiving 5-2.
Making this win all the more confounding is the fact that Switzerland is the seeded team in this group, currently ranked sixth in the world by FIFA's mysterious rankings — 11 spots ahead of France. The wackiness of FIFA rankings aside, after these first two matches, France has to be considered a new favorite to challenge the likes of Brazil and Germany later in the tournament. They have speed, relentless scoring ability and they've definitely been one of the most entertaining teams thus far. So keep making those France jokes we've all been using for the last four years at your own risk.
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