Matildas to play France in final pre-WC friendly

6 months ago 177

10:30 PM GMT

  • Joey LynchAustralia Correspondent


      Joey Lynch is simply a Melbourne-based sports journalist, AYA Cancer advocate, cynical centre-half and Zack Ryder mark. Primarily moving connected football, helium has covered the Socceroos, Matildas, A-League, W-League, Y-League, the Australian grassroots and beyond.

Australia person secured 1 last top-10 trial earlier they motorboat a home-soil bid to triumph the 2023 Women's World Cup, locking successful a fixture with European powers France a week earlier the tourney commences.

Football Australia announced the lucifer connected Tuesday morning, with the teams acceptable to look disconnected astatine Melbourne's Marvel Stadium connected July 14, conscionable six days earlier Australia opens its WWC run against the Republic of Ireland astatine Sydney's Stadium Australia and 9 days earlier France look Jamaica astatine the Sydney Football Stadium.

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Previously announcing a gathering with reigning European champions England successful London successful April, the gathering with a French broadside presently rated arsenic the 5th champion successful the satellite by the FIFA World Rankings means that Australia's women volition person played each federation presently ranked successful the top-10 barroom North Korea (who are inactive ranked 10th contempt not playing a crippled since 2019) pursuing the accomplishment of Tony Gustavsson arsenic caput coach.

"A dynamic, technically superb squad implicit the years, France person been consistently 1 of the champion nations successful the satellite with unthinkable prime crossed each parts of their game," Gustavsson said. "It volition beryllium 1 last situation for america conscionable days retired from our World Cup opener.

"This 'Send Off Match' is an indispensable last portion of our two-year preparations for this tourney connected location soil. Playing a large federation and World Cup contender successful beforehand of a ample and vocal Melbourne assemblage volition not lone supply the squad with a send-off they volition retrieve and beryllium inspired by, but it volition springiness america 1 last sensation of what to expect conscionable days aboriginal successful our opening match."

Arriving successful Australia aft serving arsenic an adjunct to Jill Ellis during the United States' triumphant 2015 and 2019 tournaments, Gustavsson repeatedly stressed the request for the Matildas to trial themselves against the champion successful the satellite during the pb into their location WWC, declaring it was what the broadside needed to interruption a quarterfinal shaped solid ceiling astatine Olympic and WWC level.

However, a drawstring of disastrous performances and results aboriginal connected nether this strategy, albeit sandwiched astir a tally to the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics, served to endanger the Swede's job. Pressure progressively swelled arsenic a vaunted power to "performance mode" failed to materialise arsenic the Matildas were bundled retired of the Asian Cup successful the quarterfinals and reached their tallness aft back-to-back losses connected location ungraded to Canada successful September.

Recent results, however, person served to dependable the ship; the Matildas are presently connected a seven-game winning tally that features a 3-1 triumph implicit Denmark, 4-0 thumping of Sweden, and a 3-2 triumph implicit Spain. The continued reintegration of Katrina Gorry successful the side's midfield, a displacement to a 4-4-2 with Arsenal's Caitlin Foord playing a much cardinal role, and a greater grade of continuity successful squad selection, amongst different factors, person each played a portion successful improved signs during this period.

But portion Australia's trajectory for the WWC is connected the upswing, France's preparations were thrown into chaos past Friday erstwhile skipper Wendie Renard said she was withdrawing from consideration from this year's tourney to sphere her intelligence health. She was subsequently joined by Paris Saint-Germain duo Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani aboriginal that day.

According to a study from French work RMC Sport, Renard, who has 142 caps and is wide regarded arsenic 1 of the champion defenders successful the world, volition not play for the nationalist squad arsenic agelong arsenic Corinne Diacre remains the team's coach.

"I emotion France much than anything, I americium not perfect, acold from it, but I tin nary longer enactment the existent system, which is acold from the requirements of the highest level," Renard said connected societal media.

In a statement, the French Football Federation (FFF), which is already reeling from allegations of "moral and intersexual harassment" towards its president Noel Le Graet, said it would analyse the concern erstwhile its enforcement committee met connected Feb 28., but initially appeared to backmost Diacre, saying: "The FFF would similar to reiterate that nary idiosyncratic is supra the instauration that is the French nationalist team."

However, reports emerged connected Tuesday that Diacre, who has served arsenic France manager since 2017, was acceptable to resign from her relation successful the coming week -- leaving the European powers scrambling to find a caller manager conscionable months retired from possibly the past realistic accidental it has to capitalise connected a existent Golden Generation of endowment astatine a WWC.

Diacre has antecedently attracted rebukes from different players specified arsenic Gaetane Thiney and Sarah Bouhaddi for her coaching benignant and the situation wrong the squad and received disapproval erstwhile she near record-holding duo Amandine Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer retired of her squad for the 2022 UEFA Women's Euro.

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