A small goal, a narrow victory and a ticket to the World Cup. The French women’s soccer team confirmed their ticket to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday, April 12, by beating Slovenia by the tiniest margin (1-0) on the final day of the European Championship qualifier at the MMArena du Mans . Evening goalscorer Delphine Cascarino delivered the French on their return from the dressing room (48′) after an initial period in which they were mistreated by their opponents. Thanks to this eighth win in as many games, Les Bleues sign a near-perfect qualifying campaign and finish Group I (24 points) well at the top.
They just needed a little spark. Delphine Cascarino, one of the most prominent Tricolores, returned from the dressing room after a long period of possession and delivered the Blues, throwing herself into the area to take a center from Clara Matéo just missing from Marie-Antoinette Katoto, transparent was tonight.
Freed, Corinne Deacon’s players mastered the second act and kept the pressure on Zala Mersnik’s goal without doubling the lead. It doesn’t matter, the main thing is somewhere else. With this victory, their twelfth consecutive, four years after the 2019 edition, the French are guaranteed to take part in the fifth World Cup in their history at home.
And yet the first period on the lawn of the Le Mans MMA arena was arduous. Facing runners-up in the group, Les Bleues controlled the ball but struggled to build powerful attacks. Surprisingly feverish (like Sandy Baltimore’s slide just as she came into the box in the 41st minute), Corinne Deacon’s players didn’t really manage to find their feet on the ground and lacked offensive success. On the other hand, Slovenia remained on guard and proved dangerous against the defensive errors of the French (9th, 39th, 43rd), who were saved by an Imperial Pauline Peyraud-Magnin. Before Cascarino takes matters into his own hands.
If we had to wait until the last day to confirm qualification, the French team never really doubted this campaign. With eight wins in eight games, Les Bleues finished second on eight points, well ahead of Wales. Fueled by incredible attacking momentum (40 goals scored and just three goals conceded), the French mastered their theme from first opponent to last. What they can get their feet on the ground ahead of their next appointment, the Euro, which will be played in England this summer.