It wasn't easy for 43 minutes, but then a lost-his-head-moment from Wilson Palacios opened the door wide open for France to waltz through, which they duly did in a comfortable 3-0 win over Honduras in their FIFA World Cup 2014 Group E match in Porto Alegre.
France were being frustrated and tied down by a physical and robust Honduras side for much of the first half, before Palacios' decision to barge into Paul Pogba ended up in Honduras conceding a penalty and the midfielder receiving his marching orders.
From there the result was a foregone conclusion, with Karim Benzema converting the penalty to open the scoring. An own goal from Noel Valladarez, a goal which finally brought out that goalline technology into action, and another from Benzema, a thumping strike, gave France, dumped out in the group stages at the 2010 World Cup amid high controversy and player unrest, a comfortable start to their World Cup campaign.
The first half was not the greatest, as France struggled to break down the Honduras defence. After a slow start from the Les Blues, where Honduras seemed to jump off the blocks quicker, Didier Deschamps' men, as expected, faced a sea of white shirts behind the ball.
France, though, did strike the crossbar twice early, first from Blaise Matuidi and then from Antoine Griezmann. Matuidi was denied a goal by a brilliant save from Valladarez, who got a fingertip to the ball to push it onto the crossbar, after the midfielder had seen the ball come to him inside the box off a cross from the excellent Mathieu Valbuena. Valbuena was the string-puller for France, roaming around the park, picking out passes and making direct runs time and again.
While Valbuena was running the show, it was his fellow winger Griezmann who almost made it 1-0 with the youngster's header thudding onto the crossbar off a cross from left-back Patrice Evra. The goal just would not come, though, and Benzema, especially, was starting to get frustrated when the game turned completely in France's favour minutes before halftime.
Palacios, who had just been booked for an altercation with Paul Pogba, decided to renew the battle with the French midfielder, unnecessarily charging into his opponent inside the Honduras box, with Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot and in showing a second yellow to Palacios.
Benzema stepped up and banged the ball into the back of the net, as Honduras went into halftime a little shell-shocked at the sudden nature in which the game had ran away from them.
The second half, as was to be expected, was an attack vs defence exercise, with France taking just three minutes to score their second goal.
Benzema stroked the ball onto the post off a cross from the right, with the Honduras keeper bungling the ball just over the line before pulling it back again. The goalline technology suggested it was a goal, but the referee did not seem to sure, before, eventually giving it to France after much discussion on the sideline.
France went close to increasing their lead on quite a few occasions after that, with Matuidi coming quite close. After a little bit more of huffing and puffing, though, France did get their third, via the main man Benzema.
Mathieu Debuchy's well-hit strike off a freekick fell to Benzema, who, with confidence of being involved in the two previous goals, smashing the ball into the roof of the net from a relatively tight angle.
In the first game of Group E, Switzerland pulled off a last-gasp victory over Ecuador in Brasilia, with the winner coming in the final minute of the game.
It was not a game for the ages, with neither side really setting the world on fire. While Ecuador had a decent first half, Switzerland came back strong in the second, with Haris Seferovic scoring the winner right at the death.
Ecuador opened the scoring through Enner Valencia in the 22nd minute, with the forward heading in from six yards out after being left alone by the Switzerland defence off a Walter Ayovi freekick.
Switzerland, despite having plenty of possession, did not quite threaten enough, with the European side consigned to a few strikes from distance.
However, Otmar Hitzfeld's decision to bring on Admit Mehmedi for Valentin Stocker to begin the second half worked wonders as Mehmedi struck the equaliser just three minutes into the second 45, heading home off a Ricardo Rodriguez corner.
Both sides looked to find the winner, but the game seemed to be headed for a draw, only for Switzerland to strike a brilliant winner.
Valon Behrami, who was having a game to forget, made a brilliant tackle to prevent Michael Arroyo from getting a shot off inside Switzerland's box, before running the length of the pitch, getting back up despite being fouled, and finding the right pass to keep the move going.
The ball eventually fell to Rodriguez on the left, who picked Seferovic, another substitute, out perfectly for the striker to slot in from close range.