France keep Women's World Cup campaign alive with tense win over Brazil

Captain Wendie Renard scores winner in Brisbane

France's Wendie Renard, centre, celebrates with teammates after their win over Brazil at the Women's World Cup. EPA
Powered by automated translation

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, 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."

Herve's side impressed with their energy and application from the first whistle, with Eugenie Le Sommer capping a dominant start by the French with the opening goal in the 17th minute.

Debinha's 58th minute equaliser left France at risk of going into their final group game against Panama on Wednesday without a win until captain Wendie powered her downward header past goalkeeper Leticia to secure the points.

"I'd like to congratulate my girls for this evening, for the French team because they beat a wonderful team in Brazil," said Herve.

"But let's not forget that this is only the second game of the competition. So we need to stay concentrated and we need to keep this mindset for the upcoming games."

Updated: July 29, 2023, 2:06 PM