the French women’s team validates its ticket for the 2023 World Cup
A roller coaster to find the world summits. Victorious over Slovenia at Le Mans (1-0) – their eighth success in as many games in this qualifying campaign – the French women’s football team is guaranteed to finish at the top of its group. Les Bleues will therefore go to the 2023 World Cup, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand.
A flawless performance that allows the French to afford a comfortable return, with two last group meetings without challenge against Estonia and Greece, in September. But above all, in the shorter term, to fully devote themselves to preparing for the Euro in England, which will start with a match against Italy in the group stage on July 10.
The Habs only needed a draw to ensure qualification. But Corinne Deacon did not want to settle for the minimum service. “A draw will not be enough for us. We come for victory. We have a small personal revenge compared to the first leg against a team which had put us in difficulty., she said at a press conference the day before the match. The French women had however won, on September 21, 2021, in the small town of Murska Sobota, without shining in the game (2-3 with a decisive goal at the last minute from Amel Majri).
Paid tactical choices
Last obstacle to a direct qualification of the Blue, the Slovenes – second at 7 points at the kick-off – could still hope for the first place in case of victory. In a well-stocked MMArena with more than 10,000 spectators, the visitors caused a lot of hassle in the first period in the 3and FIFA nation, with a lot of discipline in defense, without forgetting to be dangerous in attack.
A well-rehearsed game plan that almost cost Les Bleues the opener, if goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin had not remained vigilant on a lobbed shot from captain Mateja Zver (9and) and if the assistant referee had not raised the flag to signal an offside on the victorious head of Sara Agrez on the following corner.
Corinne Deacon had insisted that she would not rotate, in particular to let the residents of Lyon and Paris breathe, who will face each other in the semi-finals of the Champions League on April 24 and 30. The Northerner has however made six changes (including three Parisians and the Lyonnaise Griedge Mbock in defense) compared to the last meeting, won in Wales on April 8 (1-2).
“Get the Cup on July 31”
The midfield trident has been redesigned, along with much of the attacking trio. Usually assisted by her Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kadidiato Diani, Marie-Antoinette Katoto saw Delphine Cascarino and Sandy Baltimore support her on the wings of the attack.
Usually in competition for third place at the forefront with the unstoppable Parisian duo, the two wingers scored points, with the winning goal for Cascarino as soon as the restart (47and) and constant activity for Baltimore, involved in all the good moves on his left flank, on the penultimate pass of the decisive action.
Now relieved of the weight of qualifying for the next World Cup, the Habs can calmly approach their seventh European final phase, with probably two friendly matches, the dates of which have yet to be determined. « We have the ambition to get the Cup on July 31 », said Corinne Deacon after the meeting. The appointment is made.