Day 4: A day for centre-backs
Underestimate anyone at this World Cup at your peril
France 0 - Jamaica 0
Jamaica picked up their first ever World Cup point (and played a first World Cup game which did not involve a hattrick being scored against them) as they held France to a 0-0 draw. France had a very shonky start but on another day they would have won this one, as Jamaica tired towards the end and gaps were exploited by the impressive Kenza Dali who came off the bench.
I have sympathy for Herve Renard trying to get a strong team together because every time he puts all his pieces on the table, someone goes and gets injured. There was no Elise de Almeida or Selma Bacha available for this match to add to the long list of those missing which includes Amandine Henry and Marie-Antoinette Katoto. But that being said, I’m not quite sure this was it. Eugenie Le Sommer and Kadidiatou Diani were too close together and Diani looked at her best when she was able to find space to run at the Jamaica defence. It all got very narrow, making it easier for Jamaica to defend the areas France were trying to play in.
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Equally at points France fell into the traps Jamaica, or more appropriate Bunny Shaw, set for them. This was an intensely physical game - which culminated in Shaw being rather idiotically sent off - and the French had no qualms about literally rugby tackling Shaw if necessary. However, they surrounded her so much that when they turned over the ball, no one was in position to do anything with it.
For Jamaica, this was an incredible result in the face of some serious adversity. The only sour note will be Shaw’s red card but with Panama up next, there is a real opportunity for them to grasp hold of. The challenge of Brazil on Saturday, meanwhile, will loom large for France and Renard.
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