SALVADOR, Brazil — Forwards Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema each scored one goal and created another as a rampant France thrashed Switzerland 5-2 on Friday to take control of Group E and all but seal a place in the next round.
France has six points with a game remaining against Ecuador, which moved into second place — edging Switzerland on goal difference — with a win over Honduras.
Giroud and Blasie Matuidi scored a minute apart and Mathieu Valbuena added another to give France a 3-0 halftime lead.
Benzema made up for a first-half penalty miss with a poacher’s finish in the 67th, and then turned provider for Moussa Sissoko, who made it 5-0 with a neat side-footed effort in the 73rd.
Switzerland pulled back two consolation goals, with Blerim Dzemaili sending a free kick under the defensive wall in the 81st and Granit Xhaka slotting in the second in the 87th.
Benzema thought he had scored his second — and the goal of the night — but his curling, first-time strike wasn’t allowed because Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers blew his whistle for full time just seconds before the shot.
ECUADOR 2, HONDURAS 1: In Curitiba, Brazil, Ecuador forward Enner Valencia scored two goals in a comeback victory over Honduras that kept his team in contention at the World Cup.
Ecuador moved into the second spot in Group E with three points — ahead of Switzerland on goal difference — with a game remaining against group-leading France, which has tallied eight goals and conceded two in a pair of dominating wins.
Honduras took the lead in the 31st minute with its first World Cup goal in 32 years when Carlo Costly latched onto a long ball following a misjudgment from Ecuador defender Jorge Guagua. The goal ended a 511-minute drought that stretched to the 1982 World Cup. Valencia equalized three minutes later, tapping in with his left foot from close range.
after Brayan Beckeles had failed to clear a cross from the right, and added the winner in the 65th minute when he outjumped the Honduras defense to head home a free kick from Walter Ayovi.