Ecuador, France win (Roundup)

Ecuador beat Honduras 2-1 in their Group E match in soccer's World Cup in Brazil after France dominated Switzerland 5-2 to take control of the group. Costa Rica defeated Italy 1-0 to advance to the next round.

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Ecuador got goals in each half from Enner Valencia to come back and beat Honduras, which had taken a first-half lead through Carlo Costly's 31st-minute goal - his country's first in the World Cup since 1982. Three minutes later, Valencia tucked a deflected shot into the Honduras goal to even the match in Curitiba.

At the end of the first half, Honduras appeared to take the lead when Jerry Bengtson was first to react to the rebound off the post on a free kick, but was given a yellow card for pushing the ball in with his arm. In the 65th minute, Valencia headed in a free kick to give Ecuador the lead.

Ecuador and Honduras both lost their opening games. France leads the group and controls its own destiny after beating Switzerland. Costa Rica defeated Italy 1-0 in Group D to reach the round of 16 and eliminate England.

France's Victory

France has six points after its second win in Brazil, while the Swiss and Ecuador have three points in Group E. Honduras doesn't have any.

In France's victory in Salvador, Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with a header from a 17th-minute corner kick. France regained possession from the ensuing kickoff and Blaise Matuidi scored a minute later. It could've been worse, as Karim Benzema had his 32nd-minute penalty kick saved and Yohan Cabaye slammed the rebound against the crossbar when an open goal beckoned.

The third French goal came five minutes before halftime on a counterattack following a Swiss corner kick. With the Swiss defenders pushed up in an attempt to score, the French broke quickly. Giroud streaked up the left and passed to Mathieu Valbuena to tap the ball in.

In the 67th minute, substitute defender Philippe Senderos missed a clearance and Benzema poked the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Diego Benaglio for goal No. 4. The next went in six minutes later, when midfielder Moussa Sissoko ran onto a Benzema pass to score past the sprawling Benaglio.

Swiss Score

The Swiss got on the scoreboard 10 minutes from the end with a free kick from Blerim Dzemaili that went low past a diving Hugo Lloris. Granit Xhaka completed the scoring in the 87th minute when he broke through the French defense and volleyed an over-the-shoulder pass into the goal.

France thought it had scored again, though Benzema's strike came just after the referee blew for the end of the game.

The Swiss lost defender Steve Von Bergen within the first 10 minutes when he was kicked in the face by Giroud as they went for a loose ball. He was taken from the field, bleeding from his face, and was replaced by Senderos.

"It was almost absolutely perfect," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "We've got a good goal difference, and the third match will decide who finishes top and second in the group. We need to finish the job against Ecuador, and then we'll be in a very different kind of competition."

Costa Rica beat Italy in today's first game to advance from the group phase for the second time in team history.

Los Ticos have six points to lead Group D from four-time world champion Italy and two-time tournament winner Uruguay, who have three points apiece. England, the 1966 champion, has no points after two defeats. Italy has to avoid defeat against Uruguay in their final group game to advance.

England Out

England needed Costa Rica to lose to keep any chance of avoiding elimination at the group stage for the first time since 1958. The Central Americans won their opening match 3-1 against Uruguay, while Italy beat England 2-1.

Bryan Ruiz headed in Junior Diaz's cross-field pass in the 44th minute for the only goal in Recife. Costa Rica took the lead moments after Chilean referee Enrique Osses declined to give a spot kick when Joel Campbell went down in the Italian penalty area.

"It was a lovely game," Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto said. "We're really pleased by how Bryan got his goal at such an important time, just before the interval. We were playing against an incredible team and we're very proud."

The only other time Costa Rica reached the second stage was in its World Cup debut in 1990, when it beat Sweden and Scotland in the group phase before losing 4-1 to Czechoslovakia in the round of 16.

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