The football schedule on Tuesday 8 August is jam-packed with the EFL Cup getting underway, but we focus our attention on the Women’s World Cup where a place in the quarter-finals is up for grabs as France and Morocco face each other at the Hindmarsh Stadium.
France set the standard in Group F, avoiding defeat to top the standings ahead of Jamaica, Brazil and Panama, while Morocco were expected to lose out in Group H, but managed to finish two points above Germany, who were one of the pre-tournament favourites.
The Women’s World Cup started poorly for France, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Jamaica in their opening encounter. Thankfully for coach Herve Renard it has been better since then, as they responded in style by beating Brazil 2-1 on matchday two.
They saved their best until last, beating Panama 6-3, with Kadidiatou Diani netting a hat-trick to boost her chances of winning the Golden Boot.
Further goals from Maelle Lakrar, Lea Le Garrec and Vicki Becho helped France secure top spot, but Renard will have been disappointed to concede three goals against one of the competition’s weakest teams.
France reached the semi-finals of last year’s European Championships, so they are a team on the up and they will fancy their chances of securing their place in the last eight.
Les Bleues have only lost one of their previous 11 internationals and that came against Australia in a narrow 1-0 defeat.
Opponents Morocco have already overachieved Down Under, and nobody expected them to advance from a group involving Germany and Colombia.
Their chances of qualifying were significantly reduced when they lost 6-0 to Germany in their opening fixture, but they responded by beating Korea Republic and Colombia 1-0.
The Lionesses of Atlas are ranked 67 places lower than France in the world rankings, and while there have been some shocks already Down Under, it does not look like Renard’s team will struggle on Tuesday.
Renard will recall Wendie Renard and Eugenie Le Sommer to his team after they were rested against Panama, and their returns will only boost his team’s chances of progressing.
While France have been exposed on occasions during the tournament, Morocco do not offer much threat in the final third.
Yes, they may have won two in a row, but they last scored two goals in a match in February. They have failed to score in six of their last eight internationals and their lack of cutting edge should eventually catch up with them on Tuesday.