in the qualification phase for Euro 2022, France is atomizing Kazakhstan

French striker Kadidiatou Diani (right) during the match against Kazakhstan on December 1 in Vannes.

The Bleues de Corinne Deacon have offered themselves a health walk despite a reshaped team, Tuesday 1er December against Kazakhstan (12-0), at the end of a qualifying phase for Euro 2022 as successful on the ground as stormy outside.

At the Rabine stadium, the usual home of RC Vannes rugby players, the Bleues delivered a score closer to the oval than the round ball, without however succeeding in reaching the 14 goals of the selection record in an official match.

Despite this, eyes were less on the scoreboard, already raised to 6-0 after seventeen minutes, than on the stands where almost all of the Lyonnaises had taken place, starting with Wendie Renard and Amandine Henry seated side by side.

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“Rotation” of the players

The captain of the France team appeared with a closed face, moved during a Marseillaise that she is more used to listening from the lawn, armband on her arm. But her coach, with whom she has been in open conflict for several weeks, had preferred Charlotte Bilbault, who came to a press conference the day before.

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Corinne Deacon had certainly announced a “Rotation” allowing players to breathe life into the calendar loaded by the Champions League at the end of the year. But she only half applied her logic.

If the Lyonnaises were indeed substitutes, with the exception of Amel Majri, this was not the case for the Parisiennes. Left to rest on Friday, during the qualification against Austria (3-0), Kadidiatou Diani was logically aligned. What was less was the presence of Grace Geyoro and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, holders four days ago at Guingamp. After his double at Guingamp, Katoto did it again at Vannes (12e, 16e) with a landmark celebration for the first goal.

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Katoto’s “heart”

The young Parisian striker drew a heart with her fingers in the direction of Amandine Henry who replied with a raised hand, the smile found. This gesture as spontaneous as it was unexpected will remain the most striking of a one-sided encounter against the 77e world nation, unable to register a single point in this qualifying phase.

From an individual point of view, however, she allowed Bordeaux defenders Eve Perisset (33e) and Estelle Cascarino (50e) to score their first goal for the French team, just like the Parisian defender Perle Morroni (67e) and Atlético Madrid striker Emelyne Laurent (58e), entry at break.

This is also the case for PSG striker Sandy Baltimore (72e) on the evening of his first selection and Paris FC scorer Clara Matéo (83e) who, for his part, celebrated his second cape three days after his 23e anniversary.

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First place in the group

The French team can close on this river score a well-conducted qualifying phase, ended with 44 goals scored and none conceded. The sports record will not eclipse, however, the peaks of tension which marked this gathering between Deacon and his captain mainly, but not only.

Qualification in hand, with the first place in the group as a bonus, the coach will have to tackle the more difficult site of pacifying her locker room. She has a two-and-a-half-month truce, before the next internship in February, to think about the contours of her future team. With or without Henry? That is the question.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters


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