Just under 100 days from the beginning of the Women’s World Cup which is set to take place in Australia and New Zealand this summer, France have beaten the current Olympic Champions Canada in a Friendly (2-1).
Whilst most of the footballing attention focused on the Men’s club Champions League quarter finals yesterday evening, the French women’s football team secured a prestige victory against the Canadian Olympic champions in an international friendly match held in Le Mans.
France 2-1 Canada: Léa Le Garrec ends 5-and-a-half year goal drought for Les Bleues
Les Bleues had dominated throughout the match and created several opportunities but struggled to convert them into goals in the first half. However, they persisted, and in the second half, managed to score two goals in just twenty minutes. Paris Saint-Germain’s Grace Geyoro scored the first, and Lyon’s Léa Le Garrec’s perfectly placed lob resulted in the second goal, though Constance Picaud, the French goalkeeper, committed an error that led to Canada’s only goal of the game.
This match against Canada was particularly poignant for Léa Le Garrec, who had not played for the French national team since November 2017. Her goal was especially emotional, as it had been five years and six months since she had last donned the French team’s jersey.
The victory marks a significant boost for the French women’s team, showcasing their talent before the upcoming World Cup, set to begin on July 20th and end on August 20th. It followed a 5-2 victory comeback against Colombia, which was manager Hervé Renard’s first game as France women’s manager after being appointed in March 2023. His appointment followed the sacking of Corinne Diacre after a mass mutiny started by captain Wendie Renard against the coach’s harsh training methods.
Hervé Renard unhappy with scheduling of women’s international matches
Whilst all was looking rosy after the match in terms of France’s performance, manager Hervé Renard expressed his dissatisfaction with the scheduling of matches that resulted in the women’s international sides playing at the same time as the men’s Champions League.
Despite the team’s wins against Colombia and Canada, Renard expressed frustration, believing that such scheduling conflicts hindered the progress of women’s football.
“If we want to advance women’s football, as it deserves, I think we can do better in terms of the schedule,” Renard said. “We could have played the match against Colombia in Clermont last Thursday, and this match against Canada on Monday night. That would have avoided competing with a Champions League match, especially with a match like Manchester City against Bayern. We need to think about all of this if we want women’s football to progress.”
He suggested that the match against Colombia could have been played on Thursday instead, and the Canada match on Monday, thus avoiding a clash with a high-profile men’s Champions League fixture such as Manchester City vs Bayern Munich.
Renard continues his rhetoric on aiming to improve the visibility and promoting Women’s football, putting into practice his statements on the matter in his first press conference as France manager.