May 29, 2014

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.''

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 beat Cyprus 1-0 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.

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