A determined Jamaican team held France to a scoreless draw in the first match of Group F at the Women’s World Cup on Sunday at Sydney Football Stadium.
This result prevented France from getting off to a winning start in their bid to win the tournament.
The French, who had advanced to the semifinals of the European Championship only the year before, were unable to get their fluid passing game going as the Jamaicans hassled and harassed them to gain their first World Cup point after suffering three losses in their first match of 2019.
Forward In the last minute of the match, France’s Kadidiatou Diani came close to scoring the game-winning goal. However, her powerful header struck the bar and then the post before rebounding out, much to the joy of the over 40,000 Jamaicans in attendance.
On Saturday, the fifth-ranked France will play Brazil in a match that was anticipated to settle Group F in Brisbane. Meanwhile, Jamaica will play Panama later that same day in Perth without scorer Khadija Shaw, who was sent off in stoppage time.
After a collision between France’s captain Wendie Renard and Shaw in the first few minutes of the match, it seemed as if the game may not be able to include its two greatest personalities.
After receiving some minor medical care, both players returned to the field, and Shaw quickly began to create lots of difficulties for the French team with her straight running and aggression.
Because of Jamaica’s intense pressure, France was having trouble getting its passing game going, and the Reggae Girlz were winning the early exchanges. France’s opponents, the Reggae Girlz.
In the thirty-sixth minute, the French pulled together their first play of any quality, which resulted in forward Diani being given the freedom to force a save from the goalkeeper for Jamaica, Rebecca Spencer. She then had to be at full stretch to prevent Renard from scoring on the subsequent corner kick.
Shaw sent a free kick just wide of the post in the 42nd minute, which was Jamaica’s best opportunity of the first half, and Diani’s shot, which was deflected, flashed wide in stoppage time before halftime. Jamaica went into the break down 1-0.
In the second half, France began to assert themselves more and more in the game. Before the hour mark, both Diani and the midfielder Sandie Toletti had opportunities to score, but neither shot was able to beat Spencer.
As the rain continued to pour down on the Sydney Football Stadium, Diani attempted another header but missed the target in the 66th minute, and Eugenie Le Sommer forced Spencer to make another save in the 70th minute.
Outstanding left back Despite this, Jamaica remained focused on their objective under the direction of Deneisha Blackwood and hung on as the French lofted cross after cross into their box in the last minute of the match.
Shaw, who had been a continual thorn in the side of France, was sent off after making a tackle on Renard deep inside the France half of the field. This was her second yellow card offense of the match.