an iron defense but a finish to be reviewed… What we liked and disliked about Les Bleues’ victory in Austria

The French team won by the narrowest of margins against Austria on Tuesday for its second Nations League match.

Once again solid, the France team won its second victory in two Nations League matches on Tuesday September 26, after resisting Austria (1-0). The only goal of the match came in the fifth minute of play, via captain Wendie Renard. If they did not manage a second period as good as the first, Hervé Renard’s players were able to keep the score.


Wendie Renard, captain at the meeting

By heading her 36th national goal in 153 selections, the 1m87 Lyonnaise put hers in front of the scoreboard on a long-range free kick from Selma Bacha. “We have worked [cette phase] between the two matches. I know his shot quality and where the ball usually lands. Afterwards I was successful, it’s not a strong header but it flies after hitting the ground and that surprises the goalkeeper”, she rejoiced after the meeting. But beyond her offensive involvement, the courageous captain also reassured at the back throughout the game. All after receiving a blow to the shin during the first period.

An invincibility still preserved

Among the other positive points, we can also note the ability of the defense to preserve its clean sheet. For the fourth time in a row, the Blues signed a clean sheet in Vienna. Already starting against Portugal, the new number 1 goalkeeper Constance Picaud therefore had a smile in the mixed zone. “It’s a very, very good start. I’m taking my chance. I think I had a good performance tonight and the coach is happy. At this level, we know that there are not thirty chances in the match, it’s up to us to stay focused.”reacted the PSG door, thanking her two colleagues at the station for the support. “She understood that she had given a very good performance. She was called upon more today, especially in her kicking game,” added Hervé Renard. For her part, Wendie Renard still highlighted an area of ​​progress in ball releases, but that does not detract from the defensive performance of the Blues, who were only put in danger from set pieces.

Full box on the accounting level

With two victories in two games, the Blues secured the lead in their Nations League group with six points, three more than Portugal, which they beat on Friday. If everything was not perfect this Tuesday evening against Austria absent from the last World Cup, this result was the main reason for satisfaction for Hervé Renard. “In the absence of being brilliant, we have to be efficient. We will say in summary that this evening we were efficient. It wasn’t easy, we came under pressure from an Austrian team which is progressing, we didn’t ‘didn’t do everything well but we brought home three points’, commented the coach after the meeting. Enough to anticipate with confidence the two matches against Norway at the next meeting and quickly aim for qualification for the Final Four.


Two periods, two faces

As against Portugal, France did not manage to maintain the same level of intensity throughout the match. Active in the counter-pressing in the first period, they suffered the impact in the duels when the Austrians returned from the locker room with a knife between their teeth. “When you’re leading 1-0, it’s up to them to come and get us. We’re at the start of the season and there are players who haven’t yet played a minute in an official match but I agree, we must do more”, recognized Wendie Renard. Also not happy, Hervé Renard felt that his players had potentially wanted to preserve this 1-0 without playing the shots to the fullest”. With two shots attempted after the break compared to seven previously, the Blues will have to be more consistent in their management next month.

Finishing, a recurring problem

At Viola Park, the French team attacked the match head-on, increasing attacks from the wings. But apart from the goal on which the opposing goalkeeper must also do better, they especially had difficulty finishing. In the first half, we still had a lot of situations. Particularly on the sides where we make the difference, but we can’t find anything in the area because either the center is moderately adjusted, or we’re not in the right place.”, regretted Hervé Renard. In this September rally, the purely offensive players, Eugénie Le Sommer and Kadidiatou Diani, did not score.

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