Football: on the road to the World Cup, the Blue win in pain in Slovenia

Led, abused, joined at the very end of the match, but victorious despite everything. The French women’s football team finally came to the end, with forceps, of Slovenia (3-2), Tuesday, September 21, in a qualifying match for the 2023 World Cup.

In the small stadium of Murska Sobota (northeast), with the dented lawn, the Blue avoided the trap despite a false start and an unbreathable end of the match. At the kickoff, the coach Corinne Deacon had chosen to renew almost entirely the winning team Friday in Greece (10-0). His only change was the most significant, but he did not respond to a sporting choice. Reduced by muscle discomfort in the right thigh, Wendie Renard was indeed forced to give way to the Parisian Elisa De Almeida.

In the absence of the Lyonnaise, appointed captain at the start of the school year, the French defense pitched as rarely, jostled by the rapid projections of the Slovenes. Les Bleues conceded the opener after only twenty minutes of play, by Lara Prasnikar who took advantage of a loose marking to give hope of entry to the modest 49e FIFA ranked team (0-1).

While the half-thousand of spectators exulted, Deacon displayed the face of the bad days. Not sharp enough, clumsy in sequences, the Blue however regained color thanks to Marie-Antoinette Katoto, double scorer with the head on a free kick from Majri (28e, 1-1) then a cross from Sandy Baltimore (60e, 2-1), decisive passer four minutes after her stirring entry into the game. After a hat-trick in Greece, her first in the selection, Katoto brings her total to ten goals in six games with the Blue.

Read also 2023 World Cup: large victory for the French women’s football team against Greece in the opening of qualifying

A generous penalty

But at the end of the game, the victory seemed to slip into French hands after the penalty of local captain Mateja Zver, following a foul by Sakina Karchaoui on Ana Milovic ((88e, 2-2).

A moment of doubt for Corinne Deacon: “I tell myself that there are still four minutes of stoppage in play, explained the coach after the meeting. I hesitated to make one last change but when I saw the attitude of the girls… There are signs that never lie. When we get the ball like that, let them go quickly to the central circle to make the throw-off. “

Corinne Diacre got it right: the French also got a penalty after a foul on Amel Majri. ” I think there is no penalty against us, and that the penalty for us is just compensation, that’s what the referee said to my players ”, told the French coach as sincerely as possible.

Read also: Les Bleues are entering a new era without Amandine Henry and Eugénie Le Sommer

Whatever, Majri does NOT tremble to offer the victory to the Blue in the 94e minute (3-2). This allows them to leave the cold of Prekmurje, a region neighboring Austria and Hungary, with first place in the group, tied on points with Wales. They will face their more serious rival in November, after meeting Estonia and Kazakhstan in the meantime.

The World with AFP

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