France thrashes Jamaica 8-0 in final warm-up match

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm •  Published: June 8, 2014
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LILLE, France (AP) — France heads to Brazil with its confidence high after rounding off its World Cup warm-up matches by thrashing Jamaica 8-0 on Sunday, with striker Karim Benzema scoring two and creating two in an impressive display of attacking football.

Benzema picked out Oliver Giroud for France's fourth goal and also created the second for midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who in turn set up Benzema's second.

Star winger Franck Ribery was ruled out of the World Cup on Friday because of a lingering back injury but his absence could work in France's favor as the teamwork looks much improved.

"We've lost a world-class player," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "He's not here, but we have other players. It's about having collective strength."

Giroud set up the opener for midfielder Yohan Cabaye, left back Patrice Evra crossed for Matuidi's second of the night, and Antoine Griezmann came off the bench to score two clinical goals.

"It's not easy to score eight goals. It's good for confidence, although we won't be over-confident," Deschamps said. "We played with a lot of mobility, and there was a good understanding between the players."

Less than a year ago, Benzema was fighting for his place after a dismal run of 15 games without a goal, but has scored six in his past six and his international tally has improved to a respectable 21 in 66.

This was France's heaviest win since a 10-0 thrashing of Azerbaijan in 1995.

Without Ribery, Deschamps will likely play with Benzema in a roaming role and Giroud at center forward against Honduras in their Group E match on Sunday. The French then play Switzerland and Ecuador.

"Karim and Olivier are both in great shape," Deschamps said.

France created early pressure, and Giroud went close to heading in Mathieu Valbuena's teasing cross from the left.

The defense remains vulnerable to set pieces, however, and defender Adrian Mariappa almost gave the visitors a surprise lead.

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