Thursday, June 13, 2019 6:35 am
Eugenie Le Sommer converted the game-winning penalty kick in the 72nd minute for the tournament hosts to overcome an appalling own goal and beat Norway 2-1 on Wednesday in Nice, France.
The victory enabled France to stay atop Group A table at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup with two wins from two games.
Le Sommer’s penalty kick was awarded upon video review.
It determined that Norwegian midfielder Ingrid Engen followed through on a clearance attempt and spiked the knee of French wingback Marion Torrent inside the 18-yard box.
This was deemed a foul and a yellow card, and Le Sommer smashed the ensuing kick into the bottom left corner.
That regained the lead for Les Bleues, who had given up a 1-0 lead in the 54th minute when defender Wendie Renard found her own net.
Chasing down a flat cross on the doorstep of the back post, Renard tried to flick the ball out for a corner kick but got square contact and put it straight into her net.
France took its first lead just 42 seconds into the second half, when striker Valerie Gauvin slammed home a cross from wingback Amel Majri at the center of the 6-yard box.
Nigeria and Norway, with each having three points from a win and a loss ahead of their final group matches, now face France and South Korea respectively.
France, which have already clinched a spot in the knockout round, had beaten South Korea 4-0 in the opener, while Norway beat Nigeria 3-0.
Meanwhile, Sara Daebritz scored in the 42nd minute for Germany to defeat Spain in Valenciennes and remain undefeated after two games in Group B.
The victory all but assures that Germany will advance to the next round.
The two-times winners of the Women’s World Cup have one more Group B game, which will be played on Sunday against South Africa.
Spain had defeated South Africa 3-1 in their tournament opener on Saturday and will have a key match against China on Sunday as they look to advance to the next round.
Group A Current Standings
Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
France 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 6
Norway 2 1 0 1 4 2 +2 3
Nigeria 2 1 0 1 2 3 -1 3
South Korea 2 0 0 2 0 6 -6 0