Renard’s reign starts with wins over Colombia & Canada

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes France international window performances against Columbia and Canada as Hervé Renard‘s reign gets underway (13/4/23).

Above: France celebrate their success against Colombia. Photo: L’Équipe.

France 5-2 Colombia

Clermont-Ferrand, April 7th.

For his first game as coach, with France ranked fifth and Colombia 26th in the FIFA standings, Hervé Renard put together a side containing a few surprises with Eugénie Le Sommer and Amel Majri both starting the game.

However, maybe the pressure caused by the firing of Corrine Diacre got to the team, or maybe that caused by changes to the team, France experienced difficulties against the South Americans.

Despite dominating possession, they struggled to cohere as a unit with Vivian Asseyi and Sandy Baltimore notably far from their best. Colombia even opened the scoring when a free kick from Catalina Usme was put in the net by a header from Daniela Arias on 36 minutes.

Renard reacted at halftime by making no less than three changes: Delphine Cascarino replaced Viviane Asseyi, Grace Geyoro replaced Amel Majri, and Clara Matéo replaced Sandy Baltimore. Amel Majri did a good job in the first half but was not fit for a full game yet.

The second half was completely different with Delphine Cascarino, named player of the match scoring (51, 73) and putting in a decisive pass for Eugénie Le Sommer (59). It was even better with Selma Bacha stepping up to left forward when Sakina Karchoui entered the fray at the 63rd minute to replace Eugénie Le Sommer who had already scored her 87th and 88th goals for the national side.

Teams: FRANCE (4-3-3): Peyraud-Magnin, Bacha, Renard, De Almeida, Périsset, Majri, Toletti, Dali, Baltimore, Le Sommer, Asseyi. Substitutes used: Karchaoui, Geyoro, Matéo, Fazer, Cascarino, Jean-François.

Scorers: Cascarino 51′, 73′. Le Sommer 56′, 59′. Geyoro 90+1.

COLOMBIA (4-2-3-1:) Perez, Vanegas, Arias, Carabali, Ramos, Montoya, Bedoy, Caicedo, Usme, Guerra Menesesm Ramirez. Substitutes used: Ospina, Restrepo, Caracas Gonzalez, Bahr, Chacon.

Scorers: Arias 36′, Usme 50′.

Referee: Deborah Bianchi (ITA).

Attendance: 11,309.

Above: New France head coach Herve Renard has made a successful start. Photo: Franck Fife / AFP / L’Équipe.

France 2–1 Canada

Le Mans, April 11th.

Hervé Renard’s second game saw a second victory, this time versus Olympic champions, and sixth-ranked nation, Canada.

Renard made seven changes from the starting eleven versus Columbia including two new players: Constance Picaud, and Estelle Cascarino. It seems that France’s new head coach may already have an idea of his best starting team.

This was a very even game, but France put a lot of pressure on Canada from the beginning of the game right to the end, disrupting the Canadian attack. Delphine Cascarino, player of the match for the second time, provided a great performance with a key decisive pass and was involved in almost all of France’s opportunities to score.

Delphine’s twin sister, Estelle did also put in a strong performance as centre-back alongside Wendie Renard. Constance Picaud, France’s goalkeeper, made several stops and can be pleased with her game, even if she was responsible for Jordyn Huitema’s goal.

Léa Le Garrec made a noteworthy return to the national side, coming on in the 56th minute, 1,964 days after her last appearance, scoring with a shot from 20 meters on 64 minutes. With players in their best positions, like Delphine Cascarino right forward or Estelle Cascarino center back, and players back like Eugénie Le Sommer or Léa Le Garrec, the team was more efficient and has shown a new image which will let the fans think that this team could do something great in World Cup.

FRANCE (4-3-3): Picaud, Karchaoui, E. Cascarino, Renard, De Almeida, Jean-François, Toletti, Geyoro, Matéo, Le Sommer, D. Cascarino. Substitutes used: Bacha, Le Garrec, Fazer, Dali.

Scorers: Geyoro 51′, Le Garrec 64′.

CANADA (4-3-3): Sheridan, Chapman, Gilles, Rose, Lawrence, Grosso, Schmidt, Fleming, Leon, Sinclair, Huitema. Substitutes Used: Riviere, Lacasse, Viens, Larisey, Awujo, Collins.

Scorer: Huitema 71′.  

Referee: Sandra Bastos (POR).

Attendance: 14,201.

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