France v Brazil | Round of Sixteen 2019

FIFA Women's World Cup | Stade Océane

A wonderful match for France and desperation for Brazil in Le Havre, certainly a tournament game up to now. Les Bleues were heavily favored, but Brazil played the gast in a tense first quarter, making fun of this odds. France then enhanced and took the lead via Gauvin, but a beautiful Thaisa equalizer was stuck away in 11 minutes. Both parties were fortunate to win it, but it was France that fought it hardest in extra time and won the key objective when the 107th minute sailed Henry, their skipper.

“It was a great experience for all of us, and now it’s time to take advantage of this exposure and make the women’s game even bigger and better. The World Cup has ended for Brazil, but we need to keep on going. Next year we have the Olympics. And we are very grateful about all the love that came from our country during this run.”
– Marta, Brazil captain.

France kept the record of FIFA World Cup hosts in the fourth finale. By doing so this evening, it was always qualified.

“The entire match was incredible. It was very balanced. I think we’ve played four very good matches at this tournament and [losing] is just part of football. But we made it difficult for France today. We equalised and had a chance to go ahead, but we were never going to boss the game for the entire match because these teams are the best in the world. There is a renewal taking place but, going forward, there shouldn’t be too many changes. Players like Marta and Cristiane should be playing for a few more years yet.”
Vadao, Brazil coach

Tonight, how much did Marta and Co make. Their shape was unhappy, but they achieved an excellent output tonight. They were very good.

“We know we can always do better but we were looking for a mental victory and we’re very happy with the outcome. It definitely wasn’t a walk in the park tonight. For the goal, I normally look to make a run to the back post but it worked out well. The thing I remember most is my team-mates jumping on top of me! Now we have to recover and get ready for the quarter-finals.”
Amandine Henry, Player of the Match

France is aware that tonight they were in a true match. This is reflected in the pictures afterwards, with great regard for the Brazilians.

“We did what we needed to do tonight but it wasn’t easy. Brazil were very tough and gave us a real run for our money, even in extra time. Fortunately we were able to pull it out of the bag. The first-half was very tricky, very tense, and we weren’t getting our passes right. We weren’t at our best – I felt I didn’t recognise my team out there. I told the players to start having fun out there, enjoy the game, and to be a bit more patient when they were on the ball. And that’s what we saw in the second half. We’re going to be watching the Spain-USA game very closely now and looking forward to the quarter-finals.”
Corinne Diacre, France coach

A big struggle against France was battled in Brazil. It is a sorry mistake, but the teams can leave the pitch in the knowledge that they have done their utmost and have given their customers a great shock. A Seleção is skilled like Debinha and Andressa Alves in reverting to the World Cup as a team with which to take into account. This game may be the end of a century.

Image: Kane Oosty/FIFA