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Women’s World Cup: Australia with a surprise win over France in final friendly

A goal from Mary Fowler separates Australia and France, as the Matildas earn a confidence-boosting final friendly win ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup

July 14, 2023, Melbourne, Victoria

In preparation for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia, the French national team faced the host country in a friendly match. The aim was to gain confidence and establish team chemistry just a week before the tournament’s kick-off on July 20.

The first half showed promise with no goals scored. However, the second half saw a disappointing performance from Hervé Renard’s team, resulting in a 1-0 defeat against the Matildas. Mary Fowler, a player from Manchester City, scored the only goal of the match, securing Australia‘s victory. This loss hinders France’s campaign as they prepare to face Jamaica in their opening match on July 23.

Injury issues for France and Hervé Renard

To compound their misfortune, France experienced a distressing incident in the final moments of the game. Selma Bacha, an essential player, left the field in tears on a stretcher due to an ankle injury. Her participation in the World Cup is uncertain, casting doubt on her availability for the tournament.

The French team had high hopes of creating momentum and cohesion in the match against Australia ahead of their World Cup campaign. However, their second-half performance fell short of expectations, prompting the need for improvement and introspection before their crucial encounter with Jamaica.

Despite the loss and the potential absence of Selma Bacha, the French team, led by experienced coach Hervé Renard, will regroup and refocus their efforts to overcome this setback. The coaching staff will likely analyse the match in detail, identify areas that require adjustments, and seek ways to enhance the team’s overall performance.

Lessons learnt before 2023 World Cup debut?

This defeat teaches Les Bleues a valuable lesson, emphasising the importance of maintaining consistency and composure throughout a match. With the World Cup fast approaching, the French team must quickly address their shortcomings to ensure they are in top form for this highly anticipated tournament.

France will be competing in Group C alongside Brazil, Panama, and Jamaica in the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. Their first match is scheduled against Jamaica on July 23rd at the Allianz Stadium. Following that, they will face Brazil on the 29th at Queensland’s Suncorp Stadium. Their final group fixture will be against Panama, which will take place at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

Record crowd for Australia

Over 50,000 enthusiastic fans cheered on for the Matildas, and the numbers will be even larger when they face Ireland in Sydney next Friday. This remarkable attendance sets a new record for a stand-alone Matildas game in Australia, highlighting the growing support for women’s football in the country.

The brilliant turnout in Melbourne is hopefully just the beginning of many more occasions where the Matildas attract crowds of 50,000 or more in the years to come.

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