Lucy Bronze, Izzy Christiansen, and Carolin Simon all punched their ticket to next summer’s World Cup, while Shanice van de Sanden’s Netherlands squad has another battle ahead. Plus France stays hot and Canada bounces back. With the team reunited in Lyon, we’re catching up on all the international action from OL Féminin.
Les Bleues Roll Past Mexico
We’re just nine months from the kickoff of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, and the hosts have their eye on picking up their first major tournament trophy. Corinne Diacre’s squad picked up this season right where they left off in the spring with a comfortable 4-0 win over Mexico in a friendly played in Amiens.
All six Lyonnaises made Diacre’s starting XI. Eugénie Le Sommer continued her recent tear for club and country with a goal on an absolute rocket from the top of the box, and another off a penalty earned by Amel Majri‘s speed in the box. The goals were Le Sommer’s 69th and 70th for les Bleues, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, no one is paying nearly enough attention to Le Sommer’s unbelievable form right now.
France captain Amandine Henry played 72 minutes before handing the armband over to Le Sommer. Henry and Sarah Bouhaddi were both involved in the buildup to France’s first goal, as quick distribution out of the back got the ball upfield for PSG’s Kadidiatou Diani to mark in the 10th minute. In general it was a quiet night for Bouhaddi in goal and Griedge Mbock in central defense, as Mexico rarely threatened. The match marked four straight clean sheets for France.
Delphine Cascarino failed to make the most of a rare starting opportunity for the national team. Cascarino has looked dangerous when she’s come on as a sub in recent matches for the national team, but this match wasn’t her best and she lost the ball far too frequently in the first half.
Indeed, Corinne Diacre specifically expressed disappointment in Cascarino’s performance in the on-field interview at the end of the game. It’s not the first time Diacre has publicly criticized players whose performances displeased her, and it hasn’t made her many friends around Lyon. But Cascarino will need to do better to lock down a spot in Diacre’s first-choice XI.
England Cruise Past Wales, Kazakhstan
England took all the drama out of a much-anticipated match-up with Wales in World Cup Qualifying action as they bagged a 3-0 victory to secure their spot in France next summer. Wales had held the Lionesses to a 0-0 draw when the teams previously met in England in April, but Phil Neville’s squad made no mistakes this time out and left Wales to watch the World Cup from the sidelines. Lucy Bronze played the full 90 minutes and contributed an assist from a silly good touch. Izzy Christiansen came on as a sub in the 77th minute.
(@Lionesses) September 01, 2018
With qualification already secured, the Lionesses then sailed to a comfortable away win against Kazakhstan. Christiansen picked up a goal in 90 minutes of action, and Bronze bagged England’s final tally after coming on in the 62nd minute of a 6-0 victory.
Germany Get the Job Done
Germany headed to Iceland determined to restore order after Iceland shocked the world last October by picking up a 3-2 win in an early qualifier in Wiesbaden. And restore order they did, as the Germans picked up a 2-0 win to punch their ticket to France next summer.
With Dzsenifer Marozsan still sidelined, Carolin Simon served admirably as Lyon’s sole representative for the German squad, picking up an assist on Germany’s second goal. Simon also contributed two goals for the national team days later in a comfortable 8-0 win over the Faroe Islands.
Patrick (@RatedRHero) September 04, 2018
Playoff Ahead for the Netherlands
The 2017 European Champions failed to lock down their spot at next summer’s World Cup after dropping a 2-1 decision to rival Norway. Shanice van de Sanden‘s squad gave up two goals in the first ten minutes and never caught up, sending the Oranje Leeuwinnen to a playoff for a last spot in France.
The playoff looks daunting, as the Netherlands will compete with Belgium, Denmark, and Switzerland for a single spot. This guarantees that at least one of the finalists from the 2017 Euros will not appear at the World Cup.
Canada Beats Brazil
Canada bounced back after Spring losses to France and Germany with a 1-0 win over Brazil in an Ottawa friendly. Kadeisha Buchanan played the full 90 in central defense and picked up the assist on the decisive goal. Buchanan was also honored as the senior team’s Player of the Year for 2017.
Lyon are back in action on Saturday, September 8 at 8:30 am ET (14:30 local time) against ASJ Soyaux for the second match of the D1 Féminine season. Soyaux finished in 5th place in D1F last year, but fell 5-0 to Lyon in both matches against les Fenottes last season. Soyaux currently sit second in the table after last week’s 3-1 win over Rodez.
[Top photo via Lionesses; inline photo via A2M Sports Consulting]