France-Ireland (1-0): small victory for the Bleues thanks to Katoto

A month after the flamenco lesson received in Seville against Spain (2-0), the Blues move forward this Friday evening. Serious, diligent, but without genius, they won against Ireland (1-0) and started the Euro 2025 qualifying campaign in the only acceptable way, with success. However, do they have the faces of future Olympic champions? It will take a little more to get closer to the summer 2024 objective.

Deprived of executives, by obligation (Élisa de Almeida forfeited) or by choice (Selma Bacha, Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry and Eugénie Le Sommer preserved), Hervé Renard counted on a revised eleven. “We have to manage playing time,” explains the coach. We will have a very difficult match on Tuesday (in Sweden). »

The Tricolores didn’t do so badly considering the total domination in the game. But it was more questionable considering the number of clear chances and the lack of accuracy in the last 30 meters. Fortunately for the Blues, their strength on set pieces is still there. “I am very satisfied with this match in terms of spirit,” assures Hervé Renard. We pushed, we didn’t back down. We have to be more efficient but if at the end of the day, we are able to win like that every time, I’ll sign straight away. »

The 16,772 spectators at the Saint-Symphorien stadium, where FC Metz plays, quickly exulted thanks to Marie-Antoinette Katoto. From the 6th minute, after a delivery from Maëlle Lakrar on a free kick taken by Kenza Dali, the PSG striker scored her 28th goal in 36 caps. Of the last ten goals scored by the Blues, seven were from a set phase (corner, free kick or penalty). But facing a very inferior Irish team, Hervé Renard could hope for better.

We will have to do better in Sweden

The opportunities existed: Kenza Dali, with a loose shot (16th), Sandie Toletti, with a 28m shot (33rd), Grace Geyoro, who missed in the area (42nd). We had to wait for the entry of Eugénie Le Sommer (62nd) to get the hope of a second goal. From her first ball, the Lyonnaise headed the ball onto the crossbar (66th). But that’s about it (20 shots in total, 7 on target).

Greeted by the Lorraine public, the late arrivals of Wendie Renard and Amandine Henry (77th) changed nothing in the entertainment or the score. With this short advantage, they even put themselves in danger at the end of the match. It was therefore not the liveliest, nor the most accomplished performance of the Hervé Renard era. “It’s a victory,” he emphasizes. We haven’t scored yet. We must congratulate the girls. »

The typical team, or the closest thing to it, should be lined up on Tuesday evening (7 p.m.) in Gothenburg, Sweden. It will be necessary at least that against an opponent of a completely different caliber, who held England in check this Friday evening (1-1). The last trip to Scandinavia ended in a dry defeat (3-0) in October 2022. A memory that is still vivid for these Blues.


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