The French women’s team achieved its first objective of the 2023-24 season by qualifying for the Final 4 of the first women’s Nations League in history. Wendy Renard’s partners won against Austria (3-0).
The match: 3-0
The Tricolores made a strong start to the match. After a first strike from Eugénie Le Sommer next to the target (3rd), the Blues benefited from a free kick perfectly taken by Bacha from the right. At the near post, Amandine Henry felt the blow to place a perfect header which left Zinsberger no chance (1-0). The new Lille player scores her fourteenth goal in the selection to put her partners in the direction of qualification quickly.
But the French scare each other and are not very reassuring defensively. Peyraud-Magnin had to fly horizontally to deflect a superb strike from Dunst from twenty meters which was heading towards the French top corner. In the process, Campbell, free from any marking in the open area, places a header just wide (8th). The Blues shudder with another perfect strike from Höbinger on the edge of Peyraud-Magnin’s left corner (17th). But an Austrian is flagged offside by Ms. Augustyn.
Hervé Renard’s daughters no longer show much apart from a few blunders from Le Sommer (31st). The French center forward even misses the opportunity to shelter his teammates just before the break. His recovery with the flat of his right foot is blocked in the area with his hand by Puntigam (43rd). The Lyonnaise wants to take justice into her own hands but sees her very weak shot deflected by Zinsberger on her left.
Sommer once again showed clumsiness at the start of the second half when he took a cross from Bacha (47th). Wendie Renard made a very good comeback by catching up with Campbell in the French area (56th). Just after, Dali launches De Almeida well on the right wing. The center of the Blue defender finds Le Sommer. The recovery of the tricolor center forward with the flat of the right foot is impeccable to nestle in the small net opposite Zinsberger (57th, 2-0). The 34-year-old striker scores her 93rd goal for the French team.
Well launched by Geyoro, radiant in the middle, Le Sommer even failed to score a double with a save from Zinsberger on a strong shot from the Lyonnaise (63rd). The French had a much better second period with some great action between Katoto and Geyoro (72nd). Le Sommer is replaced by Julie Dufour to the ovation of the 26,453 spectators at Roahzon Park in Rennes. For her return to the French team, Katoto is rewarded with a beautiful uncrossed header at the near post from a corner from the impeccable Bacha (84th, 3-0).
The Final 4, last test before the Paris Olympics
The Blues therefore ensure the essential with this success which allows them to no longer be joined in first place with six points ahead of Austria. “We pressed the accelerator in the second half,” rejoiced Hervé Renard at the microphone of France Télévision. We were finally able to make our opportunities come true. We finished with four wins and a draw to qualify for the semi-finals and the Final 4. Congratulations to Marie-Antoinette Katoto with this nice third goal for her return. We will now meet great teams in the Final 4, probably including Spain. But we must not neglect our last group match, this Tuesday, in Portugal. »
The Final 4 will take place from February 23 to 28. This will be the last big deadline for the Bleues before the Paris Olympic Games and the opportunity for a first European title.