France thrash Honduras, remain unbeaten


France rallied from a goal down to hand a 5-1 drubbing to Honduras and qualify for the round of 16 as group toppers in the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.

France had already booked a Round of 16 berth before the game but they now go into the knockout stages with an all-win record in Group E.

They will now face Group D runners-up Spain -- European U-17 winners -- in Guwahati on October 17.

Despite the loss, Honduras also qualified for the knockouts as one of the four best third-placed teams. They finished third in the group with three points. Japan, who were held by New Caledonia, finished second in the group with four points.

France dominated the game in possession and shots on goal. Alexis Flips struck twice in the 23rd and 64th minutes while Wilson Isidor (14th), Amine Gouiri (86th) and Yacine Adli (90+6) were the other scorers. With his fifth goal in three matches, Gouiri maintained his status as the top scorer of the tournament.

France didn't begin the game well as Honduras took a surprise lead in the 10th minute. Carlos Mejia finished of a solo run from the left flank to slot past the France keeper. France kept their cool as they slowly crawled back into the match with two goals in 10 minutes.

First, Isidor was put through from a fine through ball from Alan Kerouedan and then Flips beat the keeper from the center of the box to give France the lead at half-time.

France continued to dominate in the second-half and 20 minutes into the half they hit their stride. Flips got his brace to make it 3-1 from close range as France finished the game with a flourish, scoring two late goals including a fine free-kick by Adli with virtually the last kick of the game.