Captain Wendie Renard has headed home a late winner to deliver France a 2-1 win over Brazil and kickstart their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign.
Eugenie Le Sommer’s lovely flick-header gave France the lead in the 17th minute in front of a fiercely pro-Brazil crowd of 49,378 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
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A brilliant, instinctive goal from star Brazilian striker Debinha in the 58th minute, levelled the scores.
But Renard, who had been in doubt for the match with a calf injury, burst forward to score a back-post header in the 83rd.
Wendie Renard headed home a late winner for France to see off Brazil. Credit: AAP
France’s first win, after previously drawing with Jamaica, puts them top of Group F on four points, with Brazil (three points) second.
Jamaica (one) and Panama (zero) play in Perth later on Saturday night.
Australian referee Kate Jacewicz had to dish out several yellow cards in a spirited contest.
In the 13th minute, Le Sommer met a Kenza Dali ball with a terrific diving header, forcing a good save from Brazil goalkeeper Leticia Izidoro.
Four minutes later, the striker would not be denied.
Selma Bacha launched a wonderful cross-field ball towards Kadidiatou Diani, who rose over her defender for a squaring header to Le Sommer, who flicked it home.
Le Sommer was one of the experienced players notably frozen out by former coach Corinne Diacre before she was sacked and replaced by Herve Renard.
Brazil should have equalised in the 23rd minute when Debinha weaved her way through the France defence before cutting back for Adriana, who blasted over the bar.
Brazil equalised when they played the ball around their attacking 18-yard box before Kerolin lifted it into the path of Debinha.
The 32-year-old took an incredible touch with the outside of her boot, let it bounce in front of her before coolly steering it home.
As the game opened up, both teams pressed for a winner but France prevailed when Bacha curled in a tantalising corner and Renard ghosted in at the back post to power home the winner.
Suncorp Stadium erupted in the 86th minute when veteran forward Marta was substituted on but the legend couldn’t deliver an equaliser.
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