Cyril de la Morinerie, Europe 1 with AFP
07:28, July 02, 2022
The Bleues of Corinne Deacon had placed the cursor of adversity at a level so much lower than other favorites, such as England, Sweden, Denmark, Spain or the Netherlands, that it is difficult to determine their level of preparation four days before the big departure. The French sailed on a long calm river, only this last Saturday against Cameroon (4-0), and even more Friday against the 32nd nation in the Fifa ranking, in front of some 6,100 Orleans supporters who did not, however, shun their pleasure.
A slightly modified typical team
1-0 after five minutes, 5-0 shortly after half an hour, 6-0 at half-time: the usefulness of such a meeting seemed to slip away as the goals piled up. The opposition will be on a completely different level on July 10 in Rotherham for the entry into the running against Italy which, on Friday, resisted Spain from the Golden Ball Alexia Putellas (1-1). For this last test, the French coach had almost all of her starters able to play, from goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin to center-forward Marie-Antoinette Katoto, via Sandie Toletti in the midfield.
Deacon had to modify his standard team by small touches according to the announced absences of captain Wendie Renard, left side Sakina Karchaoui and midfielder Grace Geyoro, all preserved after physical glitches. In place of Renard, central defender Aïssatou Tounkara did not have the opportunity to shine too much, not for lack of talent, but rather adversity. The evening captain showed herself more in the opposing area, with a headed goal (68th, 7-0) and a fun run to celebrate Katoto’s goal (23rd, 4-0).
For her part, the striker celebrated her contract extension with Paris SG, signed during the day, with her 15th but of the season in the tricolor jersey, which she hopes to take to Wembley on July 31 for the final of the ‘Euro. The quest for a first international title for the French will also rest in part on the shoulders of her teammate Kadidiatou Diani, aligned from the start on Friday, six days after being left on the bench against the Cameroonian “Lionesses”. The tricolor revelation of the 2019 World Cup had the fangs and she showed it, with a devastating double contact on the decisive center for Delphine Cascarino (5th, 1-0), a dribble behind the support leg and a double, his first since December 2020 in selection.
On the first goal, the Parisienne fixes the defense with a fake body then shoots from the left (11th, 2-0). On the second, she scores with a header by taking a ball from Cascarino (45th + 1, 6-0). The second most capped of the France group could not respond better to Deacon who, the day before, had judged her “still performing well this season” but capable of doing “even better in the finish”.
His counterpart on the left wing, Cascarino, is also among the satisfactions, like the relay midfielders Sandie Toletti and Clara Matéo who represent Orleans with a goal and an assist each. This fills the suitcase with confidence, the probably desired objective of this so unbalanced duel.