Paris: Karim Benzema was in a class of his own in an unusual role on the left as France geared up for the World Cup with an 8-0 win over Jamaica on Sunday despite the absence of Franck Ribery.
Ribery was ruled out of the finals with a back injury but Les Bleus were eager to move on with Benzema netting twice and setting up three more goals while Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi (2), Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann (2) also scored.
It was France’s biggest win since they demolished Azerbaijan 10-0 in a Euro 1996 qualifier in 1995. “Nice atmosphere, it’s good for the confidence but it does not give us any guarantee for the first game against Honduras,” coach Didier Deschamps said.
Deschamps stuck to his 4-3-3 system at Lille’s Grand Stade, with Giroud at centre forward and Benzema filling the left flank position usually occupied by Ribery, while Mathieu Valbuena kept his place on the right.
In Rio de Janeiro, Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick to help second-string Italy beat Brazilian club side Fluminense 5-3 played in a festive atmosphere on Sunday. Lorenzo Insigne scored twice in a lively Italy performance on a difficult, lumpy pitch, though there were question marks over the defence and third-choice goalkeeper Mattia Perin.
A capacity crowd of about 17,000 packed into the Raulino de Oliveira stadium in the steel town of Volta Redonda, providing fervent support for Fluminense and jeering Thiago Motta whenever he touched the ball.
Iran beat T&T
In Sao Paulo, Iran warmed up with a 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago having also missed a penalty in a friendly played behind closed doors on Sunday.
Ehsan Haji Safi scored just before halftime and Reza Ghoochannejhad added their second nine minutes into the second period to boost Iran’s confidence ahead of the finals.
The match took place at the training ground where Iran have been preparing for their Group F games starting with Nigeria on June 16 followed by Argentina and Bosnia. (Agencies)