Oceania Football Confederation > News > FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 > France aiming to repeat 2012 U-17 success

France aiming to repeat 2012 U-17 success

Les Bleuettes, as they are known, achieved their best placing of fourth in the 2008 edition and while they may not have managed a victory at this level their U-17 Women’s World Cup title in 2012 is far from a distant memory.
One player who was there for that highlight in French women’s football is Griede Mbock Bathy, who also picked up the Ballon d’Or in the process, and is back again to see if she can’t help this side repeat the feat.
She’s continued to stamp her mark on the women’s game in Europe firstly as part of the 2013 UEFA European Women’s U-19 Championship winning side, and was rewarded with a stint in the senior side at this year’s Cyprus Cup. Mbock Bathy was voted best young player in the French Championship in 2013 and 2014 and is eagerly anticipating the next challenge.
“I’ve observed a lot and tried to reproduce what the older players do,” she says.
“I’ve added a little more experience. We all play regularly at a high level, and we’ve got a squad that can challenge in Canada.”
The defender may not have been the busiest player on the field when France walloped Costa Rica 5-1 in their opening Group D fixture, but as captain played a crucial role.
Also proving herself one for the Kiwis to watch out for was Live Your Goals player of the match Claire Lavogez. She fired home a textbook penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way with a rocket-like shot into the roof of the net to open the scoring just seven minutes in. She played a role in the third goal as he corner was sliced in for an own goal she then rounded out the first half-scoring with what could be a contender for goal of the tournament. Lavogez took a dropping ball on the volley at the corner of the box and sent a first-time shot looping into the far corner off the underside of the goal.
France coach Gilles Eyquem says his side started well and it was good to get a win in their opening game.
“I’m satisfied about the performance, although I’m disappointed to have conceded a goal at the end. There are always elements of the performance you can work on but we saw some interesting things,” he says.
“At the beginning, the girls looked shy – they were impressed by the stadium and felt the pressure of this big competition. They should get stronger for the next game.”
Eyquem may be confident but needs to remember his squad will be facing a New Zealand side buoyed by an opening win of their own. The 2-0 victory over Paraguay marking their biggest yet in their five appearances at this competition.
Tomorrow’s encounter marks the pair’s first meeting in a FIFA women’s football competition. For their part, New Zealand have always scored while failing to keep a clean sheet in their four prior meetings with European sides in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, notching one win, one draw and two defeats.
New Zealand’s Junior Football Ferns take on France tomorrow morning at 9am (NZT) in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Group D top of the table clash. The match will be screened live on Sky Sport 3.
New Zealand
1. Lily ALFELD (GK), 2. Catherine BOTT, 3. Megan LEE, 4. Evie MILLYNN, 5. Emily JENSEN, 6. Meikayla MOORE, 7. Hannah CARLSEN, 8. Daisy CLEVERLEY, 9. Martine PUKETAPU, 10. Emma ROLSTON, 11. Briar PALMER, 12. Steph SKILTON, 13. Isabella COOMBES, 14. Katie BOWEN, 15. Megan ROBERTSON, 16. Ashleigh WARD, 17. Jasmine PEREIRA, 18. Belinda VAN NOORDEN, 19. Tayla O’BRIEN, 20. Corinna BROWN (GK), 21. Ronisa LIPI (GK)
Coach: Aaron MCFARLAND (NZL)
1. Romane BRUNEAU (GK), 2. Eve PERISSET, 3. Charlene GORCE, 4. Aissatou TOUNKARA, 5. Griedge MBOCK BATHY, 6. Aminata DIALLO, 7. Kadidiatou DIANI, 8. Sandie TOLETTI, 9. Ouleymata SARR, 10. Claire LAVOGEZ, 11. Lindsey THOMAS, 12. Aurelie GAGNET, 13. Marine DAFEUR, 14. Charlotte SAINT SANS, 15. Margaux BUENO, 16. Solene DURAND (GK), 17. Faustine ROBERT, 18. Clarisse LE BIHAN, 19. Mylaine TARRIEU, 20. Fanny HOARAU, 21. Deborah GARCIA (GK)

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