|Hosts: Australia and New Zealand Dates: 20 July-20 August|
|Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website & app. Full coverage details; latest news|
Captain Wendie Renard headed a late winner as France beat Brazil in a thrilling game in Brisbane at the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
Eugenie le Sommer put the French ahead after 17 minutes, before Debinha pulled Brazil level in the second half.
There was end to end action as two of the pre-tournament favourites delivered a game which lived up to expectations.
But it was Renard – who had been an injury doubt – who headed in the decisive goal with seven minutes to go.
“She is the leader of the team,” France manager Herve Renard said of his captain. “If she was not able to play today then it wouldn’t be the same. We were lucky to have her today.”
Brazil would have qualified for the last 16 with victory but instead must wait until the final matchday to try to book a knockout spot.
Pia Sundhage’s side meet Jamaica in their final group match, while France take on Panama. Both games will be played on 2 August, kicking off at 11.00 BST.
Captain Renard inspires her troops
Following a disappointing draw in their opening game against Jamaica and fitness concerns for key players – in particular Renard, who started having been touch and go with a calf problem – this was a make or break game for France.
The stakes were further heightened by a frenetic atmosphere in Brisbane, where the overwhelming majority of fans were in the yellow shirts of Brazil. When the Brazilian anthem was sung, you could have closed your eyes and imagined you were in the Maracana.
But France rose to the challenge, as their two on-pitch leaders – Renard, and all-time top scorer Le Sommer – took charge.
Their first goal was excellent. Sakina Karchaoui started the move with a left-footed cross from deep, Kadidiatou Diani kept it alive and Le Sommer was there with a perfectly cushioned header to steer the ball past Brazil keeper Leticia..
It was her 90th goal in 181 caps, and calms concerns about the French attack following the blunt showing versus Jamaica – which had led to recriminations among the squad, Le Sommer revealed.
“I think the turning point came from Jamaica,” she said. “Things got heated in the dressing room.
“Today we were up to scratch. We hope we can use this to improve even more so but it’s three points in the bag and we showed what we were made of.”
The celebrations after Le Sommer’s goal were telling. Goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin ran to the bench and jumped into a scrum of about 10 celebrating substitutes. Manager Renard joined in too, high-fiving everyone.
Then, as it appeared they would have to settle for one point, captain Renard arrived at the back post unmarked to head in Selma Bacha’s deep corner.
“I told you I trusted my girls,” manager Herve Renard said. “I was fully confident they were going to pull it out of the bag.
“Sometimes, it is good to get off to a shaky start as that sets the alarm bells ringing and then you can get back on your feet. We knew not to make any mistakes.”
Sundhage bemoans slow Brazil start
In their opening demolition of Panama, Brazil looked like the most cohesive attacking unit at the whole tournament. They were not allowed to be that by France.
The midfield became a battlefield, tough challenges aplenty. Brazil’s Luana and France’s Sandie Toletti were especially combative, both picking up first-half bookings for aggressive tackles.
As a result, Brazil’s quick and skilful forwards were often starved of service in a below-part first half which Sundhage bemoaned as the main reason for defeat, rather than the failure to mark Renard for the winner.
“I don’t believe in individual mistakes, it is about the team,” she said.
“It is team work and I’m more concerned, not about the goals, but about the first half where we were not connected and could not see that many combinations. I apologise for that, it should be better than that.”
Brazil improved after the break and earned a slice of luck for their equaliser on 58 minutes.
Kerolin’s pass took a deflection to fall perfectly for Debinha, and the Brazilian number nine calmly finished past Peyraud-Magnin.
Ultimately though they were outfought by France, and not even the introduction of the iconic Marta for her 22nd World Cup appearance could inspire another equaliser.
- 7KarchaouiBooked at 69mins
- 15DaliBooked at 11minsSubstituted forLe Garrecat 87′minutes
- 6TolettiBooked at 29mins
- 9Le SommerSubstituted forBèchoat 65′minutes
- 5de Almeida
- 17Le Garrec
- 12Izidoro Lima da Silva
- 2da Costa SilvaSubstituted forHickmann Alvesat 85′minutes
- 14Leal Costa
- 4Leone Carvalho de Souza
- 6Dias de Britto
- 17Alves BorgesSubstituted forAngélica Kliemaschewsk de Araújoat 86′minutes
- 21Israel Ferraz
- 5Bertolucci PaixãoBooked at 44mins
- 11Leal da SilvaSubstituted forZaneratto Joãoat 80′minutes
- 18da Silva FerreiraSubstituted forAlves da Silvaat 61′minutes
- 9de OliveiraSubstituted forVieira da Silva Veigaat 86′minutes
- 1do Monte Barbosa
- 3Sousa Feitoza
- 7Alves da Silva
- 8Angélica Kliemaschewsk de Araújo
- 10Vieira da Silva Veiga
- 13Santos Nhaia
- 15Ferreira Sampaio
- 16Zaneratto João
- 19Hickmann Alves
- 20Alonso Costantino
- 22Gomes Rodrigues
- 23Nunes da Silva
- Kate Jacewicz
Match ends, France 2, Brazil 1.
Second Half ends, France 2, Brazil 1.
Attempt blocked. Luana (Brazil) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kerolin with a headed pass.
Foul by Selma Bacha (France).
Kerolin (Brazil) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Selma Bacha (France) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mônica (Brazil).
Attempt missed. Selma Bacha (France) left footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the left. Assisted by Sandie Toletti with a headed pass.
Foul by Grace Geyoro (France).
Kerolin (Brazil) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Léa Le Garrec (France) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Grace Geyoro.
Substitution, France. Léa Le Garrec replaces Kenza Dali.
Attempt missed. Mônica (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Luana following a corner.
Substitution, Brazil. Marta replaces Debinha.
Substitution, Brazil. Ana Vitória replaces Ary Borges.
Substitution, Brazil. Mônica replaces Antônia.
Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Ève Périsset.
Goal! France 2, Brazil 1. Wendie Renard (France) header from the left side of the six yard box to the top right corner. Assisted by Selma Bacha with a cross following a corner.
Corner, France. Conceded by Lauren.
Foul by Vicki Bècho (France).