The French soccer players refrained from cheering after their entry into the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
The favorites smiled at the clear 4:0 (3:0) against overwhelmed Moroccans in Adelaide, but nothing more. "Now we've made the breakthrough," said striker Kenza Dali. But a few minutes after the final whistle, the strong combining French and their coach were already looking forward to the upcoming duel with Australia.
"Now of course we have to concentrate on the host country," said coach Hervé Renard after his team had completed the duty. In the quarterfinals on Saturday in Brisbane, the freestyle should also succeed against the co-host (09:00 a.m. CEST). "We have the possibilities, the skills to do it. We already know that it won't be an easy game - not for either team," said the coach. Double goal scorer Eugénie Le Sommer promised on ZDF: "We will prepare very well for that."
The offensive led by Le Sommer and Kadidiatou Diani, who scored one goal and set up two more, was brilliant from the start against Morocco. Diani (15th minute), Dali (20th) and Le Sommer (23rd) decided the one-sided game with their early goals. As in the 6-0 loss to Germany in the preliminary round, Morocco was overwhelmed, but with two wins the North Africans managed to advance ahead of the DFB team.
Morocco coach praises his own team
In front of 13,557 spectators, Le Sommer scored the final score for France after the break (70th). "We quickly scored the first goal and then the second," she explained the simple secret of success. "We stayed calm and played our game."
Morocco's French coach Reynald Pedros, who once won a number of titles with the soccer team from Olympique Lyon, had words of praise for his team despite their elimination. "This result, that we're kicked out now, shouldn't spoil the great run we had during the World Cup, of course," said the 51-year-old. A lot was missing against France, "but we still came a long way. Now we're going back to work." The World Cup was "historic" for the debutant.
Colombia narrowly wins
The favored Colombians made their round of 16 against Jamaica much tighter. It was 1-0 (0-0) after a hard-fought game that offered little footballing class. In the end, in front of 27,706 spectators in Melbourne, a goal by captain Catalina Usme in the 51st minute was enough for the Cafeteras to reach a World Cup quarter-finals for the first time. In the round of eight teams, Colombia will play England in Sydney on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals (12:30 p.m. CEST).
"After the goal came, I had all sorts of emotions," said goal scorer Usme. "In all our years in women's football, this is such a beautiful moment that gives us the opportunity to make history for our country." But the journey is far from over. "We can still go further. We came here to play seven finals. And we have to go step by step."