For the 500th match of the women's France team since 1951, Hervé Renard's "Olympiques" were up to the task by disposing of Austria (0-1), in Vienna on Tuesday night. Ultra-dominant in the first half, the Blues, who had won against Portugal on the 1st day of the League of Nations, found more answers on the Austrian side after the rest.
The fact remains that since the elimination in the World Cup against Australia (0-0, 7-6 on penalties), the French are gradually rebuilding their confidence capital in view of the Paris Olympics next summer. "If you don't have to be brilliant, you have to be effective... Tonight (Tuesday), I will say that we were effective, said the coach at the microphone of France Televisions. We were under pressure from a team that is progressing. This group will be difficult again with Norway next month. Six points for a rally is perfect... »
500 - The women's France team plays tonight in Austria its 500th match in all competitions (293 wins, 91 draws, 115 losses), more than 52 years after the first, against the Netherlands in April 1971 (4-0). Cpl. #AUTFRA pic.twitter.com/3QpPMwSrlw
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 26, 2023
It only took a handful of minutes for the Blues to set the tone of the game. The France was already leading 1-0 in front of 10,000 spectators at Viola Park, while the 5th minute was not completed. From the right, Bacha sent a long free-kick that Wendie Renard, escaping the Austrian marking, extended her header into Zinsberger's goal, with no reaction on her line. Well helped by the opposing defensive naivety, the French captain (153 caps, including 58 with the armband) did not miss the opportunity to increase her goal capital to 36 in the France team.
This early goal freed the French, while the Austrians struggled to carry out a real offensive. More convincing than against Portugal on Friday, the Blues have only sinned by inaccuracy. On receiving transmissions from Renard, then Diani, Le Sommer could have made the break, six meters in front of the goal, but sent his header over (14th). Then, well served by Bacha on the left side, Karchaoui missed the center that Le Sommer was waiting for with delight (16th). In total, the French sent half a dozen shots on the opposing goal in the first half, and framed half of their attempts. The only alert, but sizeable, on Picaud's goal was a close-range recovery from Degen on the crossbar, following a free kick in extra time of the first half (45th + 2).
After the break, the French were much less enterprising than in the first 45 minutes. The pressure greatly increased on the French goal, especially on Dunst's free kick pushed away in disaster (85th). The end of the match was downright tense on the French side but turned out to be happy. Against Austria, 16th nation in the FIFA rankings, France extended its invincibility, bringing its stats to 7 wins and 2 draws. For his part, Hervé Renard, whose 11th game on the bench of the Blues, conquered an eighth victory - for two draws and one defeat.
Les Bleues will meet in a month, with the first leg of a double confrontation of the League of Nations against Norway, in Oslo on October 27 (19 hours), before the return to Reims on October 31 (21 hours).