After the time of controversy between the coach and some Lyonnaise, the Blue found the smell of games at stake. And despite this funny atmosphere, Corinne Deacon surely hoped to attend a better performance. The French women’s team failed to get the better of Austria (0-0), in the 6e qualifying day for Euro 2021, which will take place in… 2022 due to a schedule disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tuesday, October 27, the French footballers stumbled against tough Austrians and missed the opportunity to widen the gap on their opponents, which they were only ahead on goal difference (+ 29 against + 21). In front of a reduced capacity of 500 spectators, in Wiener Neustadt, 50 km from Vienna, the two best teams of group G (16 points) fought a tough battle. Logically favorites, the players of Corinne Deacon have not assumed their status as third world nation against Austria, 22e in the FIFA rankings.
The blue have multiplied the opportunities
Absent in the previous meeting, won 11-0 last Friday against North Macedonia, defender Wendie Renard – one of the protagonists of the fight with Deacon – was able to honor her 121e international selection, that is to say as much as… her coach during her career as a former player.
The Lyonnaise had been left on the bench in Orleans against the players from the Balkans, without knowing whether it was a choice of sports management or a punishment for her comments following the eviction of the captain of the Bleues, her teammate at OL Amandine Henry. Renard had notably claimed “More serenity and positive energy” in the French team.
Faced with the Austrians in full progression – surprise semi-finalists of Euro 2017 where they had already held in check the Blue (1-1) -, the teammates of Eugénie Le Sommer, wearing the captain’s armband, never found the loophole. They multiplied the opportunities but lacked precision in the last gesture, like this action from the 3e minute of play: The Sommer served beautifully in depth Viviane Asseyi, who erased a defender before missing her shot.
Determined, the Blue imposed a fairly high pressing on their opponents and recovered a lot of balls. The credible physical opposition of the locals [13 joueuses autrichiennes évoluent dans le championnat allemand] and too messy a game penalized the French. Goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger first saved a recovery from Aïssatou Tounkara’s head (13e), then, helplessly, saw Viviane Asseyi’s acrobatic kickback fleeing the frame at nothing (21e), before pushing back three minutes later a heel inspired by Kadidiatou Diani.
A rough game
Opposite, comfortably positioned in their half of the field, the Austrians only distinguished themselves on rare occasions: a roulette wheel from Barbara Dunst (23e) followed by a completely missed shot or thanks to a corner taken from the head by the great defender Carina Wenninger, an attempt fortunately captured by goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (32e).
The most technically reliable player, Eugénie Le Sommer offered a new offering to one of her partners. But his cross from the left found only the soft head of Kadidiatou Diani (59e). Corinne Deacon launched two substitutes on the hour mark: Elisa De Almeida and Delphine Cascarino in place of Marion Torrent and Viviane Asseyi. Then, another Lyonnaise, Amel Majri, entered 15 minutes from time.
Over the minutes and sterile attempts of the Blue, the Austrians gained confidence. They obtained a great opportunity thanks to the striker Nicole Billa, whose strike with the misleading trajectory worried Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, vigilant (68e).
At the boarding at the end of the game, the French team – irreproachable in envy – repeated the same technical errors over and over again. De Almeida on an unscrewed head (85e), Cascarino who centered instead of hitting (92e) or Majri on a too weak free kick (93e) spoiled the few possibilities to make a difference on the wire.
On November 27, the Tricolores will have the opportunity to be forgiven and almost definitively establish their status as leader of Group G. At Guingamp, they will welcome Austria in the return match before finishing the playoffs against the modest Kazaks. A month to put their heads straight and ease the tensions that can only harm their performance.
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