France beat the Netherlands 1-0 after extra time and will face Germany in the semi-finals

Finally a semi-final for Les Bleues! Pushed into extra time, they swallowed the pressure that had made them tremble for a decade in the quarter-finals, offering themselves the victory against the outgoing Dutch on Saturday (1-0 after extra time) at the end of the suspense, with composure . More powerful and more enterprising, the French women performed on the lawn of Rotherham, England, a performance of queens, in the kingdom of football, and kept intact their dream of ascending the throne, now vacant, on July 31 at Wembley.

“The girls didn’t give up and I think it’s beautiful”, rejoiced the coach Corinne Deacon at the microphone of Canal +, after having celebrated the qualification for a long time. There was “an exceptional goalkeeper” opposite but “Tonight’s perseverance paid off”. After dismissing the Dutch, European champions and vice-world champions in title, it will now be necessary to crunch another big piece, Wednesday in Milton Keynes: Germany, biggest winners at the Euro (eight titles), to the hitherto impregnable defense. In the meantime, the Blues have four days to recharge the batteries, largely started by the summit of Rotherham.

After ten years of repeated failures, France has finally broken the glass ceiling of the quarter-finals on which its ambitions have been shattered five times in a row (Euro 2013, World 2015, Olympics 2016, Euro 2017, World 2019). The window of his bus, cracked by a projectile on the road to the stadium on Saturday, was ultimately a happy omen…

In extra time, the light came from a breakthrough by the untenable Kadidiatou Diani, broke in the area. The referee awarded a penalty after using video assistance and it was Eve Perisset, an unusual penalty taker, who carried out the sentence (102e).

Amazing Dutch Babysitter

The presence of Les Bleues in the last four was expected, given its many talents, but it was slow to emerge on Saturday in the small New York stadium (9,800 spectators), where the number of missed opportunities often gave the vertigo. In a one-sided match, the young goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar (22), propelled to the front of the stage after Sari van Veenendaal’s package, was saved for a long time by luck, her own talent or the clumsiness of the Blue.

Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar faces Frenchwoman Melvine Malard, at Rotherham Stadium, July 23, 2022.

The latter wasted ammunition on heads by Wendie Renard, without force or precision, or even on attempts by Sandie Toletti (23e) and Melvine Malard (26e), unable to frame their shots. Bad luck also fell on Delphine Cascarino, with a heavy long shot captured (22e) and, above all, a recovery from the outside of the surface returned by a post (27e).

On that unlucky evening, there were two incredible Dutch saves, signed Stefanie van der Gragt. The Ajax Amsterdam player saved hers on the line, with her knees, repelling a shot from Malard (37e). Then she helped herself with her elbow, stuck to the body, to repel an attempt by Grace Geyoro, well served by Renard (41e).

Sparkling Bacha

The entry at the hour mark of Selma Bacha, designated player of the match, produced multiple sparks, triggering murmurs of pleasure in the spans, however mostly colored by the fluorescent orange jerseys of the Batavians. The Lyonnaise, without complex despite her young age (21), heated van Domselaar’s gloves on heavy strikes (65e73e). She also served on a corner for her captain Renard (66e90e+2), but the Twente goalkeeper relaxed perfectly to extinguish the threat.

Frenchwoman Selma Bacha, named player of the match, in Rotherham, England, on July 23, 2022.

After a decrescendo first round, ended with a hitch against Iceland (1-1), France regained their strength against a collectively tough opponent, if not brilliant. Until then, he lacked such a benchmark match on which he gained confidence, it is now done.

The objective of the semi-finals, set by the president of the Federation Noël Le Graët, has been achieved and this should free up a weight for Les Bleues and Corinne Deacon, at the end of their contract. The future of the coach has become clearer, under the gray sky of Rotherham, and the technician can already project herself on the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. In the meantime, the Germans await it on Wednesday with the power of a conquering nation, with an iron defense and ready to return to the center of Europe.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Women’s Euro 2022: Corinne Deacon, from adversity to appeasement among the Blue

The World with AFP

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