Since the draw for the Olympic tournament, the French team had been warned: no match would be easy in a particularly tough group, offering no breathing space.
And unfortunately, the Blues took their breath away on Tuesday when they bowed to Spain (25-28), two days after a short but precious success over Hungary (30-29) at the Yoyogi stadium.
Their qualification is not (yet) compromised but Sweden, the most dominant team in their group, awaits them Thursday before two last matches against Russia (under neutral flag) then Brazil with the obligation to be classified among the four. first teams of their pool to see the quarter-finals.
Nothing simple, then.
The full Olympic program
The Olympic medal table
The start of the match was at the very least very feverish between two teams which took a good five minutes before clearing the score. Twice, the Blue then managed to create a very small gap (4-2 in the 10th, then 7-4 in the 16th), but despite the excellence of their defense, they did not manage to let go of the sluggish Spaniards. but eye-catching. Tied at the break (12-12), France ended up losing ground shortly after the recovery by conceding a scathing 4-0 (18-14, 39th), a gap that they would then never succeed in to fill in. The band of Estelle Nze Minko even multiplied the inaccuracies at the end of the match with two poorly assured passes, intercepted and converted into a goal by the Spaniards, as well as a two-time failure of Grace Zaadi to throw seven meters.
We had solutions, me in particular on the last penalty which comes back to me in the hands and which I miss,
" confided the French center-half after the meeting. “
It's still a ball that we should have put in. I am disgusted because I would have liked to make a better performance. The content was not there. We will have to switch quickly because Sweden is in great shape. We will have to go for this victory because the two points will be precious.
“The result confirms in any case that the Blue have little margin in their dense group. Hungary, which they had narrowly beaten, has since been dominated by Brazil (33-27). Les Bleues' next game on Thursday against Sweden promises to be a test of truth against the most impressive team in the group so far. After crushing Spain by seven goals on Sunday (31-24), the Swedes pulverized Russia (36-24) on Tuesday. Already a first turning point, no doubt.