Eugenie Le Sommer netted twice as France sailed into the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup, soundly defeating Morocco and putting an end to the African team’s remarkable journey.
France dominated the match from the start, securing a commanding 3-0 lead by halftime in Adelaide. Goals from Kadidiatou Diani, Kenza Dali, and Le Sommer showcased France’s superiority. Le Sommer sealed her brace with another goal after 70 minutes, solidifying their victory.
In the upcoming quarter-finals in Brisbane on Saturday, France is set to face Australia.
Morocco, aspiring to become the first African side to triumph in a Women’s World Cup knockout match, faced a substantial challenge against Herve Renard’s French team, which ranks 67 places above them according to FIFA’s world rankings. The quality gap was evident in the opening half as Dianni scored the first goal with a header from a well-placed cross by Sakina Karchaoui, marking her fourth goal in the competition. In the 20th minute, Dianni played provider, setting up Aston Villa’s Dali, who skillfully placed a low shot into the corner. The match was effectively decided as Morocco’s Nesryne El Chad’s clearance deflected off Dianni and fell favorably to Le Sommer, who calmly secured the third goal.
As the match drew to a close, and with Morocco’s defense visibly fatiguing, Le Sommer completed her hat-trick by heading in Vicki Becho’s deep cross.
France’s history at World Cup finals includes a fourth-place finish in 2011, and they have now reached the quarter-finals in the last four consecutive editions. Notably, with top-ranked teams like the United States, Germany, Brazil, and Canada eliminated, France now harbors a strong belief in their potential to claim victory in the tournament.
Morocco, the first Arab nation to compete at the finals, astonishingly secured the second spot in Group H ahead of two-time champions Germany, who had previously defeated them 6-0 in their opening match. However, their journey came to an end as they faced a formidable French team. Despite a spirited effort, Morocco struggled defensively and conceded three goals in just eight minutes during the first half. Their best chance post-half-time came when Ibtissam Jraidi broke through on goal, only to be quickly intercepted by France’s goalkeeper, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.