June 16, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Roger Espinoza set another milestone Sunday in Brazil, becoming the first Buckeye in program history to start in a World Cup match. In Espinoza’s second World Cup appearance, Honduras suffered a red card in the opening half and were forced to play with 10 men for more than 45 minutes, falling to France 3-0 in their group play opener in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Karim Benzema scored twice en route to the win as Espinoza and Honduras will have to wait another match to look for earning their first World Cup victory for their country. Despite a great first-half defense and enduring several near misses by France, Los Catrachos were eventually broken after a second yellow by Wilson Palacios in the box gave the French a penalty. Benzema scored on the penalty attempt and followed with another goal during the 72nd minute to expand the score to 3-0.
Espinoza, who helped lead Ohio State the College Cup during the 2007 campaign, had several solid touches playing on the left side of the midfield, but didn’t have the support to push forward. The Hondurans had but one or two offensive opportunities in the second half and were outshot 20-4 overall. Espinoza, who is currently a member of Wigan Athletic FC, has played in 42 international games, scoring four international goals
Honduras will have four days to regroup and prepare its second match against Ecuador at 6 p.m. Friday in Curitiba.