France issued a Women’s World Cup warning on Tuesday to set up a tasty quarter-final clash against Australia, with Colombia joining them in the last eight and facing England. A rampant France scored three times in eight minutes in a first-half blitz as they won 4-0 to bring Morocco’s fairytale run to a brutal end. Veteran striker Eugenie Le Sommer scored twice, once in each half, and Kadidiatou Diani and Kenza Dali were also on the scoresheet in Adelaide. Herve Renard’s side will now play co-hosts Australia in Brisbane on Saturday, with the winners of that going on to play either England or Colombia in the semi-finals.
“We fulfilled our objective. You always want a little bit more, but it’s fine,” Renard told broadcaster M6.
France was knocked out in the quarter-finals as hosts in 2019, losing to eventual winners the United States. A win against Australia will see them equal their best-ever performance at the World Cup when they got to the last four in 2011.
“We have matched our performance of four years ago, but our objective was to do better than we did in 2011, so we know what we have left to do,” Renard said.
Asked if his side could beat the Matildas in front of a hostile crowd, he added: “We are capable of doing it but it won’t be easy, albeit not easy for either team.” While France is desperate to win its first major women’s international title, Morocco came into the game with the pressure off, their World Cup is already a huge success.
They recovered from a 6-0 thrashing to Germany on their World Cup debut to exceed all expectations by defeating Colombia and South Korea to reach the knockout rounds.
Colombia makes history
Colombia reached the quarter-finals for the first time and a meeting with England after a 1-0 win over Jamaica. Skipper Catalina Usme scored the only goal of the game in Melbourne in the 51st minute, bringing the ball down expertly and bending it into the bottom corner.
It was the first time at the tournament that Jamaica had conceded a goal. It set a cagey game alight and sent the pumping pro-Colombian crowd into deafening delirium.
Fired up, Jamaica almost had an immediate reply with Jody Brown’s shot cleared off the line. Behind for the first time at the World Cup and facing the exit door, Jamaica abandoned their defensive posture and threw players forward frantically looking for the equalizer.
Drew Spence almost grabbed it with a header that spun just wide, but Colombia held on.
They will play European champions England in Sydney on Saturday.
James says sorry
England will be missing attacker Lauren James after she was sent off for stamping on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie in their last-16 game on Monday. England went on to squeeze through on penalties.
The 21-year-old James apologized on Tuesday. “All my love and respect to you,” James tweeted to Alozie, who had written on social media that she had “all respect for Lauren James”.
“I am sorry for what happened,” James added. In the other quarter-finals, Spain plays the 2019 runners-up the Netherlands, and Sweden — who sent holders the United States home — face Japan.
Jamaican call for help
Jamaica bowed out but made history of their own, winning a World Cup game for the first time with a 1-0 victory over Panama and holding heavily fancied Brazil and France to goalless draws.
But despite boasting the prolific Manchester City striker Khadija Shaw, Jamaica’s lack of goals proved to be their undoing — they scored just one all tournament, against Panama. It was a victory, though, of sorts in the team’s wider battle with their federation — they hope their displays will mean more support in the future from Jamaican football bosses.
“Obviously we need some help from mainly the government,” said coach Lorne Donaldson, whose team has been in a row with their federation over pay and conditions.
“Hopefully now we can all come together and try and figure something out so we don’t do things hodgepodge all the time,” he added.