The 2023 Women’s World Cup is in full swing, as France booked their quarterfinal place by whipping the last African representatives 4-0.
After a horrible showing in their initial 0-0 draw against Jamaica, France coach Hervé Renard cautioned everybody: ” Kadidiatou Diani will soon be at her best again.”
The PSG striker has demonstrated him right since that statement. Diani had an assist against Brazil, three goals against Panama, one goal and two assists in the last game against Morocco.
Les Bleues obliterated Morocco 4-0, with three goals between the fifteenth and 23rd minutes in the most great spell of football we have seen during the knockout round up until this point.
France were exceptional, as Diani’s goal came from a brilliant move between Élisa De Almeida, Sakina Karchaoui and Selma Bacha. Kenza Dali’s came from a magnificent one-two with Diani. Eugénie Le Sommer added a third after a mix-up at the back, and the game was essentially over when it began.
With wide and high full-backs, Sandie Toletti’s position as a third centre back, Le Sommer dropping further, Bacha’s opportunity, Elegance Geyoro’s control and Diane’s runs, France were large and in charge. The final result of this match might have been more awful for Morocco but the Africans held on.
France currently head to Brisbane to face co-host Australia in the quarterfinals. They have qualified only once for the last four of a World Cup – back in 2011. They have at absolutely no point ever been so near doing it in the future.
Morocco could have extended Africa’s support at this World Cup into the quarterfinals, but reality hit home hard at them from the get-go in their 4-0 loss against France.
With 71 places between fifth-placed France and Morocco (76th) in the FIFA world rankings, the gulf in class and experience was clear, and Reynold Pedros’ team ultimately exited the competition at the same stage as fellow African nations Nigeria and South Africa.
Yet, with three groups making it into the round of 16, it has so far been a good World Cup for Africa.
The foundations are clearly in place for an even greater performance by the continent in 2027, and Morocco, who could possibly co-host the 2030 Men’s World Cup with Spain and Portugal, are likely to be a leading contender to become the first African country to stage the Women’s World Cup in the future.
In the other round of 16 game, Jamaica lost to Colombia by 1-0. The Reggae Girlz were expecting to advance from this stage but were kicked out.
Colombia reached their first Women’s World Cup quarterfinal win over Jamaica in the round-of-16 of the tournament. Colombia relied on experience and fans to get them through.