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Women’s World Cup 2023: Coach Herve Renard hails France, Sweden thrash Italy and Jamaica win

France bounced back from their opening draw to sink Brazil

Sports Staff
Saturday 29 July 2023 21:14 BST
Selma Bacha and Vicki Becho of France celebrate beating Brazil
Selma Bacha and Vicki Becho of France celebrate beating Brazil (Getty Images)

Coach Herve Renard stressed he never doubted his France team would bounce back from a low-key start to their Women’s World Cup campaign after his side handed Brazil a 2-1 defeat in Brisbane to kick-start their challenge for the title.

Captain Wendie Renard scored with an 83rd minute header to earn Les Bleues a late victory over the South Americans on Saturday, banishing any concerns following France’s 0-0 draw with Jamaica in their Group F opener last Sunday.

“I told you that I trusted my girls,” said Herve Renard, who was appointed in March to replace Corinne Diacre. “I was fairly confident that they were going to pull it out of the bag this evening because, in their prep, in the way that they were concentrated, their focus, I knew that they wanted to get back on track.

“Things were missing from an efficiency point of view against Jamaica last time. Sometimes it’s good to get off to a shaky start because that sets the alarm bells ringing and then you’re able to get back onto your feet very quickly, because today we knew we did not have the right to make any mistakes.”

Sweden have ‘excellent weapon’ in set-piece prowess

Sweden have found a silver bullet in their threat from set pieces, as they thrased Italy 5-0 in Wellington to book their spot in the Women’s World Cup knockout stage.

Amanda Ilestedt got up well to head home Jonna Andersson’s corner in the 39th minute and produced a carbon copy of that effort for her second goal of the match in the 50th.

“We’ve been doing this for a long time already but we’ve allocated perhaps a little more time on set pieces,” Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson told reporters. “Opponents will know and feel that this is something we do well in Sweden... It’s an excellent weapon as we move forward.”

Rebecka Blomqvist of Sweden scores her team's fifth goal (Getty Images)

It was the second time this tournament that Sweden benefited from their set piece prowess. Ilestedt scored the winner in the 2-1 victory over South Africa in the 90th minute when she met Kosovare Asllani’s corner with a strong header.

“Regardless of what you might think of Sweden’s type of play you can always look at the details in the game,” Gerhardsson said. “(Set pieces are) a structural component where you can do a great deal.”

The 2003 runners-up are hoping to go all the way after having knocked on the door of World Cup glory a handful of times before. They finished third in 1991, 2011 and at the previous edition in 2019.

Jamaica knock out Panama with 1-0 win

Jamaica defender Allyson Swaby scored from a sharp header to steer her side to a 1-0 win against Panama in Perth, keeping alive the Caribbean side’s hopes of advancing to the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup.

Panama, who have yet to open their account having lost earlier to Brazil 4-0, cannot now progress ahead of France and Jamaica who lead Group F with four points.

“I think there was some wastefulness in front of goal. I didn’t think we were clinical,” winning coach Lorne Donaldson told a press conference. “But we got the one that counted and that’s all that matters right now.”


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