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HomeSportsFootball: Les Bleues held by Norway (0-0)

Football: Les Bleues held by Norway (0-0)

If the Blues are hardly worried in a Group B of the League of Nations to their standard, the players of coach Hervé Renard are providing minimum service for the moment. Four days after snatching victory in Norway, the French team conceded a draw (0-0) at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims. Coming to defend, the Norwegians have nothing like their predecessors, world champions in 1995 and Olympic champions in 2000.

Despite an end to the match finally marked by a surge and a bit of offensive madness – two posts found in quick succession by Amandine Henry and Eugénie Le Sommer – the Bleues did not do enough to secure a fourth victory in four Ligue 1 matches. nations. Nothing dramatic since coach Hervé Renard’s players largely retain first place in group B with 10 points, ahead of Austria (7 points), which won in Portugal.

Snagged by Norway, the France team has been undefeated since July 14 and a defeat against Australia during the last World Cup preparation match. They remain on six victories and three draws, including an elimination in the quarter-finals of the World Cup against the Australians.

“We need to be more dangerous, even more inclined to the offensive. The context will be a little different from Oslo. We will take the game into our own hands, but we will have to keep the balance”, had nevertheless hoped for Hervé Renard the day before at a press conference. Their players had, as expected, a near monopoly on possession of the ball but they too often abused lateral or backward passes, like midfielder Sandie Toletti, who annoyed her coach by First period.

Julie Dufour and Sandie Baltimore offensive

The sparks came from two new players in the starting eleven. Already to her advantage during the last match, the Parisian from Paris Football Club (PFC), Julie Dufour, and the Parisian from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Sandy Baltimore, brought a little life and offensive energy. At the 17e minute, Dufour, who greatly contributed to the qualification of the PFC for the group stage of the Champions League, hooks a Scandinavian defender before striking just above the cage of Aurora Mikelsen.

Read also: Women’s Nations League: French footballers return to the pitch with their sights set on the Paris 2024 Games

Aligned in place of Kadidiatou Diani, Blue manager with 92 caps but in difficulty since the start of the season – “we are not going to hide the issue, it must do better”, shook him before the match Hervé Renard – Sandy Baltimore was impactful on his right side. She first slaloms through several opponents before entering the area and crossing, without danger (21e). Then, she rolls up her balloon twice which ends up a few centimeters from the frame (25e and 31e).

A few seconds before this second attempt, Baltimore and Dufour combined with Sakina Karchaoui the most beautiful movement of the first forty-five minutes: a reversal of play from the PSG player to that of the PFC, who fixes and shifts behind her back the lateral Karchaoui whose the center behind finds Grace Geyoro, countered at the last minute (31e).

In the second period, the duo did it again. Dufour calls for an intelligent one-two, Geyoro launches Eugénie Le Sommer in depth, less precise than usual this evening. The best scorer in the history of the Blues is blocked, the ball returns to Sandie Toletti whose recovery, alone from five meters, goes well above (49e). A minute later, Baltimore struggles to recover a ball at the opposing feet along the line. She finds Le Sommer who crosses at the far post but Dufour is too short this time to control her recovery.

Three shots on target hit the posts

After an hour of play, Julie Dufour was replaced by Kadidiatou Diani, who could have found the opportunity to react to her coach’s criticism. But the Lyon rookie didn’t really have the opportunity to do so, with the exception of a header that was too far off a cross from Vicki Becho (82e).

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers France-Norway: Vicki Becho, the young joker of the Bleues who “aspires for more”

Earlier, Sandy Baltimore, the best player of the match, had highlighted herself one last time before going out, with a shot on Mikelsen’s post (70e). In the last five minutes, she is imitated by two of the Blue’s most experienced players. Amandine Henry infiltrates the penalty area before sending a shot into the square of the Norwegian cages (85e). Eugénie Le Sommer slaloms and her shot hits the top of the Norwegian crossbar (86e).


“Paris 2024”

“Le Monde” deciphers the news and the challenges of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


We will have to do better on 1er December during the reception of the Austrians, runners-up to the French, and on December 5 in Portugal, to join the last four of this first Women’s Nations League.

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