Soccer Results and Highlights [2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand] Goal Collection
Sat 29 Jul 2023 19:00
Group F France 2-1 Brazil
Renard rescues France as Brazil edged out
A late header from captain Wendie Renard gave France a vital 2-1 win against their biggest 2023 Women’s World Cup (WWC) group rivals Brazil, sending them top and preserving their all-time unbeaten record against the South American side.
France failed to find any sort of rhythm in their goalless WWC opener against Jamaica, but they were immediately able to find more space in attack against a more enterprising Brazil side. The South Americans were handed a clear warning when record-goalscorer Eugénie Le Sommer flicked a header towards the far post, but Letícia scrambled across brilliantly to divert it away from the target.
With that sight at goal out of the way, Le Sommer, who returned to the national side ahead of the tournament after a two-year hiatus, would make no mistake when presented with a second opportunity. Winger Kadidiatou Diani sent Sakina Karchaoui’s looped ball back across for the lurking Le Sommer, and this time she directed her header out of reach of the flailing goalkeeper. With Brazil behind courtesy of that national-record sixth personal WWC goal for the legendary striker, Pia Sundhage’s side looked to draw level. The dancing feet of Debinha gave Adriana acres of space in the France area, but the Orlando Pride winger ballooned her shot well over.
France had learned their lesson – their opponents had no more significant opportunities for the remainder of the half, but Sundhage’s words in the dressing room made all the difference to her side’s play. The danger posed by the Brazilian front line was suddenly as apparent as it had been in their 4-0 win against Panama, and their luck was in when Kerolin’s shot ricocheted into the path of Debinha, who expertly prodded past Pauline Peyraud-Magnin from close range. The equaliser prompted play to open up, and both sides began to create chances, but ultimately it was France to strike the killer blow.
An excellent Selma Bacha found a completely unmarked Renard at the far post, and the towering France captain headed the ball down and into the net, sending the small French portion of the Brisbane crowd into pandemonium. Les Bleues even had the better of the late chances as they saw out the result, one which means that they ascend above their opponents to the top of Group F, while Brazil will now have a keen eye on Saturday’s late game, in which a win for Jamaica would see them slip out of the top two ahead of the final matchday.
Player of the Match: Selma Bacha (France)