no first title for the French women’s team, defeat in the final of the League of Nations by Spain – Libération

After a good run, the Blues were dominated (2-0) by the Spanish world champions this Wednesday, February 28. Enough to show the gap that still separates them from the best teams.

This is not the best preparation for the ultimate goal of the Paris Olympics in five months. Still in search of a first major title, the French women’s team suffered the law of the Spanish world champions on Wednesday in Seville in the final of the League of Nations (2-0). After a solid victory against Germany in the semi-final (2-1), the Blues, who were playing in their first final of an international competition, once again came across someone stronger than them.

As against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2023 World Cup, or in the past against the United States, Hervé Renard’s players could only note that a gap still separated them from the very big nations.

Because Spain, the first team in the FIFA rankings, is indeed one. All the more so thanks to this first title in the League of Nations, synonymous with an unprecedented double six months after their world coronation in Sydney in front of England, whose celebration had been spoiled by the forced kiss of the ex-president of the Spanish Federation Luis Rubiales on Jenni Hermoso, which caused a wave of international indignation.

Totally dominated technically and physically, the Blues simply did not exist in the match and were unable to do anything apart from trying to resist the Iberian attacks, without managing to score a single shot of the match. The defense finally cracked after half an hour of play. Ballon d’Or Aitana Bonmati did what is expected of great players in major events: being there in the right place at the right time to open the score (33rd, 1-0) on a cross from Olga Carmona.

The French goalkeeper avoids the rout

Logically led, the French team, frustrated and without a solution like captain Eugénie Le Sommer, returned headlong to the locker room without any shot attempted. The La Roja players, pushed by the “España, España” of thousands of Andalusian families, continued to develop their passing game until doubling the lead in the second half with a new placed attack concluded by Mariona Caldentey (53rd, 2 -0).

It then took two good outings from Juventus goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin to prevent the match from turning into a demonstration (54th, 84th).

The French awakening did not take place, and the game ended under the “olé” of the Andalusian public, who exulted at the final whistle, ready to celebrate their champions a second time. This victory in a minor competition is nevertheless a colossal revenge for the La Roja players after weeks of standoff against those responsible for Spanish football, and years of fighting for more recognition of their sport.

The match is still not won and the stands are still far from being as full as for their male counterparts, despite a record attendance for a women’s match with 32,657 spectators, in an Olympic stadium in La Cartuja which can accommodate 57,000. But Jenni Hermoso and her teammates demonstrated, as the Tigres striker wished at a press conference, that they were “champions in every sense of the word”.


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