Despite the absences of many executives and some fears, the French women’s team was able to tame England in a friendly, Friday April 9 in Caen (3-1). Parisiennes Sandy Baltimore (32e) and Marie-Antoinette Katoto (82e), as well as Viviane Asseyi from the penalty spot (63e), shaped the French success, a time weakened by a penalty from Fran Kirby (79e) and a strike on the post from Keira Walsh (81e) which made the Blues shiver in a breathless end of the game.
It was started with a vibrant tribute from the English to Prince Philip, who died during the day… It ended in satisfaction for the Habs. They confidently pass the first test of their spring rally, before the expected shock of Tuesday in Le Havre against the United States, their executioner of the World Cup-2019 at home.
They thus stretch their unbeaten streak to sixteen games since this cursed quarter-final, including fourteen victories, but the first against a team appearing so high in the world rankings (6e).
No Lyonnaise at kick-off
Deprived because of Covid-19 of almost all of the Lyonnaises of the workforce, except the striker Eugénie Le Sommer, Corinne Deacon had to line up a completely experimental eleven.
The best scorer in the history of the Blue (86 goals), arrived a day late for the rally this week, the time to be tested negative within the OL cluster, has even been preserved.
This led to a composition without the slightest Lyonnaise, a totally extraordinary situation in the France group, and with five Parisiennes at the kickoff.
“Certain individual services score points. The absences of some benefit others, I hope that this will create a healthy emulation ”, Deacon pointed out. The absences were however felt at the start of the match, against a nation that is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics before hosting Euro-2022 on its land.
Sparkling performance by Sandy Baltimore
Fortunately, goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin was intractable, especially in front of Lyonnaise Nikita Parris (24e, 33e, 39e), otherwise the Blue would have chased the score. The door of Atlético Madrid, propelled to the rank of N.1 after the voluntary withdrawal of Sarah Bouhaddi, confirms her recent performances in this jersey: her only goal conceded in thirteen selections will have been the penalty from Kirby, consecutive to a fault by Marion Torrent.
The French women were able to keep their backs round and respond to the English physical intensity with a sharp transition game, symbolized for example by the daring of the young Calvadosienne Ella Palis, unimpressed by the Ornano stadium where she came, as a small child. , support the Stade Malherbe de Caen.
Symbolized, also and above all, by a sparkling performance of the young wing of Paris Saint-Germain, Sandy Baltimore: the attacker illuminated the cool Norman evening with a skylight missile (32e), his second goal with the Blue, for his first start. This inspiration rewarded the excellent season of the PSG player, already very comfortable in the selection at 21, alongside her club partners Katoto or Kadidiatou Diani, both involved in her goal.
The Blue could have conceded more goals, but they could also have scored many more, if Valérie Gauvin had not spoiled a magic ball from Baltimore (45e+1), or if Katoto had not missed her face-to-face with the opposing goalkeeper after another serve from the irreplaceable Baltimore (61e). This will therefore undoubtedly suffice for Deacon, now reassured about the depth of his group, very regular for nearly two years. A regularity to oppose to the Americans, from now on.