A roller coaster to find the summits of the world. With its victory against Slovenia (1-0) in Le Mans (Sarthe), on Tuesday 12 April, its eighth victory in as many games in the qualifying phase for the 2023 World Cup, the French women’s football team is guaranteed to finish at the top of your group. Les Bleues will therefore attend the World Cup, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand.
This impeccable allows the French to offer a comfortable return to school in September, with two last group games without hitch against Estonia and Greece. But above all, in the short term, they will be able to dedicate themselves fully to preparing for the European Championship in England, which will begin with a match against Italy in the group stage on July 10.
The Habs only needed a draw to clinch qualification. But Corinne Deacon did not want to settle for the minimum service. “A draw will not be enough for us. We come for the victory. We have a little personal revenge compared to the first leg against a team that had put us in trouble.he said at a press conference the day before the game.
The French had won however, on September 21, 2021, in the small town of Murska Sobota, without shining in the match (2-3), with a decisive goal in the last minute from Amel Majri.
Paid tactical options
Corinne Deacon has made six changes since the last meeting against Wales (1-2 win on 8 April). The midfield trident has been reworked, along with much of the attacking trio. Usually assisted by her Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG) team-mate Kadidiatou Diani, Marie-Antoinette Katoto watched Delphine Cascarino and Sandy Baltimore support her down the wings in attack, the two of them usually balanced to complete the triptych in the first places.
Positioned in her favorite position on the right side, Delphine Cascarino first showed signs of nervousness. But she unlocked the match by scoring the only goal of the match (47me) after an action initiated by Sandy Baltimore. A release for the 10,103 spectators present at Le Mans, as the Slovenians caused some trouble.
“We have to raise our level of play in every game, we knew that Slovenia was not easy to play and they knew how to contain us well in the first half”pointed out after the meeting Delphine Cascarino.
With a disciplined five-man defense and great counter-attacking ability, the visitors’ fine-tuned game plan nearly cost Les Bleues their first goal. Fortunately, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was able to pay attention to the lobed shot of the captain, Mateja Zver (9me), before the assistant referee raised his flag to signal offside on Sara Agrez’s winning header from the next corner.
Two next friendly matches
If Eve Périsset and Delphine Cascarino said that there was no talk of the European Championship after the victory, the great continental encounter will occupy an increasingly greater place in the minds of the players in the coming days.
Now freed from the weight of qualifying for the next World Cup, the French can calmly face their seventh European final phase. “We have the ambition to win the cup on July 31”Corinne Deacon assured after the meeting.
For the selector, “The difficulty will be to remain efficient without getting injured, it will be a psychologically difficult period for the players. It’s up to me and my staff to ask the right questions to prepare for this European Championship.. If the date of the final selected list has not been communicated, two friendly matches are expected before the start of hostilities.
If the opponents of the group (Italy, Belgium, Iceland) seem affordable for the 3me nation in the FIFA ranking, recent successes acquired with pain invite caution. “This kind of opposition sets us up for future deadlines. We know that in the European Championship anything is possible, there are no small teams or favourites, it’s up to us to be up to the task.Temple Delphine Cascarino.
no surprises expected
However, several lights are green. Flawless performance in February’s Tournoi de France against the leading nations (Brazil, Netherlands) and ability to win through adversity against less flashy-named sides show that France now have several strings to their bow.
“We see things happen. When some players struggle, others pick up the slack. A true collective is created and we will have time to prepare for the European Championship. We have guarantees even if there are always things to work on in the game. develops the coach, now in charge of composing the most competitive team possible.
She assures him that few surprises are to be expected, even if, in the past, she has sometimes caught observers off guard with certain choices. So it was during the 2019 World Cup, when she was deprived of Marie-Antoinette Katoto – then top scorer in the championship with PSG – or when she remembered, in early February, Kheira Hamraoui after three years of absence: three months. Before her, the latter had been the victim of an attack that had led to the arrest of her partner at PSG Aminata Diallo, dividing the Parisian dressing room and causing a stir in the selection during the Tournoi de France.
The final word for Corinne Deacon: “This list will not be very far from the elections made recently. None [joueuse] he did not lose any points during this encounter. »