Hervé Renard’s France side win 4-0 over the Atlas Lionesses to end Morocco’s World Cup dream
France powered their way into the quarter-finals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, extinguishing Morocco’s dreams of a historic run. Eugenie Le Sommer‘s double strike, combined with goals from Kadidiatou Diani and Kenza Dali, sealed an emphatic 4-0 victory for France in Adelaide, propelling them into the next round of the tournament.
From the outset, Herve Renard’s Les Bleues squad showcased their superiority, asserting their dominance early in the match with possession . With a staggering 67-place advantage over their North African counterparts in the FIFA world rankings, the Atlas Lions had it all to do.
The opening goal came courtesy of Diani’s precise header, capitalizing on a well-executed cross from Sakina Karchaoui. Diani, who has been a consistent performer throughout the competition, celebrated her fourth goal of the tournament.
Dominent performance from France
The 20th minute witnessed Diani transitioning from goal scorer to provider, as she deftly laid the ball back to Aston Villa’s Kenza Dali. Dali seized the opportunity with a splendid low shot that found the corner of the net, extending France’s lead to 2-0 and confirming their early dominance.
France’s third goal came before the first half’s conclusion: a clearance attempt from Nesryne El Chad ended up fortuitously at the feet of Eugenie Le Sommer. With composure and poise, Le Sommer coolly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper, securing a 3-0 lead for Hervé Renard’s side.
Morocco‘s spirited efforts were met with stern resistance from France’s resolute defense. The North African side, in their debut appearance at the Women’s World Cup, found themselves unable to breach the solid backline of their more experienced opponents. A glimmer of opportunity emerged when Ibtissam Jraidi surged towards goal after the restart, but her hopes were dashed as France’s goalkeeper, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, swiftly smothered her advances.
In the closing stages of the match, as Morocco’s defence showed signs of fatigue, Eugenie Le Sommer returned to the spotlight. Displaying her prowess in aerial duels, Le Sommer headed in a precision cross from Vicki Becho, sealing her brace and securing an impressive 4-0 victory for France.
Les Bleues with a statement win whilst others fall
France not only secure their spot in the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals but also enhances their chances of progressing further in the tournament. The elimination of top-10 ranked teams such as the United States, Germany, Brazil, and Canada has paved the way for France to stake their claim as a formidable contender for the championship title.
For Morocco, this journey has come to an end, but their valiant performance throughout the tournament has left an indelible mark. As the first Arab nation to compete at the Women’s World Cup finals, Morocco defied expectations, claiming a remarkable second place in Group H ahead of two-time winners Germany.