We had little doubt but it is now almost official: the France women's team is in the quarter-finals of the World Championship. Unless, in a highly unlikely case, world champion Norway lose on the evening of December 8 to Slovenia. This seems highly unlikely. If they don't have both feet in the quarters, Les Bleues have them and four toes. In Trondheim, in the north of Norway, Les Bleues beat Korea on the south (32-22). It now remains to be seen who the Olympic champions will play against on Tuesday. It's hard to say right now. France will cross with Group IV, currently dominated by the Netherlands but for the moment very undecided. It could also be against Spain or the Czech Republic.
Two weeks after a first duel in preparation against Caen that ended in a big victory (31-19), Les Bleues had a harder time this time against the Koreans. Mainly because of a sloppy start to the match that let Korea take the lead (0-3) and confidence. Also already qualified for the Olympic Games, the Koreans prevented France from being as dominant as two days earlier against Austria (41-27), especially in the first period. However, the Olympic champions are a step above and they quickly put things back in place. However, without having the same flamboyance as against the Austrians. At the break, Les Bleues were ahead (17-12) but not yet completely safe. It went much better in the second half. The Koreans stayed at a distance and even ended up giving up. France never wavered or put their future in this World Cup in danger to finally win easily 32-22. Undefeated, Les Bleues continue to go from strength to strength. "We played a game if not a brilliant one," coach Olivier Krumbholz told BeIN SPORT. We had to win this game, we did it. We are now ready for knockout games. »
The World Cup really starts now
Now it's time to get down to business. Because after a big week of group play, the World Cup really starts now. First of all, there is one last group game to play for Olivier Krumbholz's girls, and not just any one. It will be on Sunday evening (20:30 p.m., BeIN SPORT) against Norway, the best team on the planet, reigning world and European champions in front of a packed house. "We had to put in a good performance to arrive on Sunday with a lot of confidence," said Laura Flippes. It's weird to think that we're playing Norway outside of a cup match. Both teams will (normally) already qualify for the quarter-finals and even the Games, that's for sure. So there won't be a major stake in this duel. Except for the first place in the group to find out which opponent will be proposed in the quarter-finals. However, this match will not be in vain, far from it. Challenging Norway means passing an XXL test.
We will find out on Sunday evening if Les Bleues have what it takes to become world champions on December 17 or if Norway are still untouchable. You will also have to be careful not to expend too much energy because the first match will arrive only 48 hours later. It remains to be seen against whom. Answers to these questions on Sunday evening.