the French women's team validates its ticket for the 2023 World Cup before the Euro

the French women’s team validates its ticket for the 2023 World Cup before the Euro

A roller coaster to find the world summits. Victorious over Slovenia (1-0) at Le Mans (Sarthe) – 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 faultless performance that allows the French women 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 tricolor 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).

Read also: Qualifications for the 2023 World Cup: the Imperious Blue against Estonia

Paid tactical choices

Corinne Deacon has made six changes since the last meeting against Wales (1-2 victory on April 8). The midfield trident has been redesigned, along with much of the attacking trio. Usually assisted by her Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG) teammate Kadidiatou Diani, Marie-Antoinette Katoto saw Delphine Cascarino and Sandy Baltimore support her on the wings in attack, they who are usually in balance to complete the triptych at the forefront. posts.

Placed in her favorite position on the right side, Cascarino first showed signs of nervousness on a forgotten corner (32and) then on a throw-in unfairly awarded to the Slovenians (37and). Joy will quickly follow anger when she unlocks the mark on the only goal of the game (47and) following an action initiated by Sandy Baltimore, present in all the good moves. A deliverance for the 10,103 spectators present at Le Mans, as the Slovenians caused some hassle at the MMArena.

“We have to raise our level of play in every game, we knew that Slovenia were not easy to play and they managed to contain us well in the first period”, raised after the meeting Delphine Cascarino.

With a disciplined defense made up of five players and great counter-attacking skills, the visitors’ well-honed game plan almost cost Les Bleues the opener. Fortunately Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was able to remain vigilant on the lobbed shot from captain Mateja Zver (9th), before the assistant referee raised his flag to signal an offside on the victorious head of Sara Agrez on the following corner.

Read also: Football: Les Bleues at the gates of the world after their success in Wales

Two upcoming friendly matches

If Eve Périsset and Delphine Cascarino affirmed that there was no question of the Euro at all after the victory, it is however certain that the big continental meeting will take a growing place in the minds of the players. next days.

Now relieved of the weight of qualifying for the next World Cup, the French can calmly approach their seventh European final phase. “We have the ambition to get the cup on July 31”, has also assured Corinne Deacon at the end of the meeting.

For the coach, “thehe difficulty will be to remain efficient without injury, It’s going to be a psychologically difficult period for the players. It is up to me and my staff to ask themselves the right questions to prepare for this Euro “. If no date has been communicated concerning the final list, two friendly meetings are to be expected before the start of hostilities.

And if the opponents of the group (Italy, Belgium, Iceland) seem affordable for the 3and nation in the FIFA rankings, the latest successes acquired in pain invite caution. “This type of opposition prepares us for future deadlines. We know that at the Euro everything is possible, there are no small teams and no favorites, it is up to us to be up to it, ” tempers Delphine Cascarino.

No surprises expected

If many players agree on the importance of raising the cursor on the technical level to achieve the ultimate goal, many lights are green. The flawless performance at the Tournoi de France against leading nations (Brazil, the Netherlands) and the ability to win in adversity against selections with less flashy names prove that France now has several strings to its bow. .

“We see things happening. When some players are in difficulty, others take over. A real collective is set up, and we will have time to prepare for the Euro. 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.

And she assures her, few surprises are to be expected, even if she has in the past sometimes taken the price watchers by certain choices. This was the case during the 2019 World Cup, when she was deprived of Marie-Antoinette Katoto – then top scorer in the championship with PSG – or when she recalled Kheira Hamraoui in early February after three years of absence. His attack on November 4 had led to the custody of his teammate at PSG Aminata Diallo. A case which deeply divided the Parisian locker room and which had caused 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 choices made recently. None [joueuse] did not lose any points during this rally. » After the rollercoaster, it’s time for stability, then.

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