PARIS (AP) — Olivier Giroud scored twice and winger Mathieu Valbuena set up three goals as France began its World Cup preparation with a 4-0 exhibition win over Norway on Tuesday night.
Paul Pogba’s header put the 1998 champions ahead in the 15th and Giroud doubled the lead in the 51st. Loic Remy scored in the 65th, two minutes after entering, and Giroud scored on a glancing header in the 69th.
France plays Paraguay on Sunday and meets Jamaica on June 8 before heading to Brazil.
“We played with a lot of intensity and determination, which is very positive,” Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps said. “We’re not ready yet, but you can sense that there is a collective determination in this side.”
In other games, Japan beat Cyprus 1-0 and the United States defeated Azerbaijan 2-0.
Les Bleus meet Ecuador, Honduras and Switzerland in Group E at the World Cup.
“It’s about getting players used to our system, players who may play in a slightly different way for their clubs,” Deschamps said.
He rested forward Karim Benzema, winger Franck Ribery and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, and Stephane Ruffier making his second appearance in goal for France.
At Saitama, host Japan won as defender Atsuto Uchida scored in the 43rd minute when he tapped in a rebound following a save by goalkeeper Panos Constantinoy. Uchida had just returned from a thigh injury sustained in January.
“I think the team did OK,” Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said. “We just finished a physically hard training camp so there was some tiredness, but our decision making was good.”
Japan heads to Florida on Thursday for exhibitions against Costa Rica and Zambia in Tampa.
At San Francisco, the U.S. got goals from second-half substitutes Mix Diskerud in the 75th minute and Aron Johannsson in the 81st. Diskerud was born in Oslo, while Johannsson was born in Mobile, Alabama, and moved to Iceland with his family when he was 3.
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