Cymru produce competitive display in France
International
30 November 2021

Cymru produce competitive display in France

Ahead of the match, Gemma Grainger explained that she expected this to be a tough match and that Cymru would know where they are on their journey as a squad. Despite the defeat, Granger’s team showed they have the character to compete against the very best in the world. 

France 2-0 Cymru

FIFA Women's World Cup Qualifiers 

  • Tuesday, 30 November 2021
  • Stade du Roudourou - Guingamp

Cymru made a real game of it against the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying group I leaders but it was heartbreak in the end due to late goals in each half. 

“This team has so many more levels to go,” Jess Fishlock told BBC Wales following the match. “I’m torn between being disappointed and immensely proud.” 

Cymru put in a resolute display in the first half to keep France at bay but with half-time looming, they were caught in possession high up the pitch. The French counter-attack in added time was devastating as they undone Cymru’s hard work with Delphine Cascarino squaring a pass to Kadidiatou Diani to score. 

A fantastic chance for an equaliser came on the hour mark when Jess Fishlock volleyed a shot from the edge of the box, forcing Pauline Camille Peyraud-Magnin into a fine save to deny a goal. 

Cymru were very much in the game, playing higher up the pitch and putting the French team under pressure. 

However, just as they were getting this foothold in the game, it got tougher for Cymru as they were reduced to 10 players when Kayleigh Green was sent off for a second cautionable offence following a foul tackle. It was Green’s second red card of the campaign. 

The sending off seemed to make the players dig even deeper and that extra determination kept them very much in the game. 

At the end of the match a rare mix-up in the French defence allowed both Sophie Ingle and Jess Fishlock to have chances of equalising. Somehow, France kept the ball out of their goal. When the ball immediately returned to the box, Fishlock thought she’d scored for Cymru but her effort struck the woodwork.

France were then able to go on the attack and ran the ball down the other end of the pitch, where Selma Bacha’s strike from outside the box into the top left-hand corner of the goal made it 2-0. 

It was an exciting period of play that demonstrated the highs and lows of football, but on this occasion it Cymru who dropped to their knees on the full-time whistle.

Following Greece’s surprise 0-0 draw with third-placed Slovenia earlier in the day, Cymru remain second in the group and two points clear.

Gemma Grainger was clearly disappointed at the result but incredibly proud of her team. “We were competitive. We were competing until the last five minutes of the game and we had an opportunity to equalise with 10 players,” she said. “We were playing one of the top teams in the world and these are the teams we want to play in competitions. In terms of the way the girls performed and what we will take from the game I feel quite positive.”

2021-11-30 Wales V France - KM - 039.JPG

France: Peyraud-Magnin, Perisset (M’Bock Bathy 81’), de Almeida, Tounkara, Morroni, Toletti (Dali 66’), Bilbault (c), Geyoro, Diani (Bacha 66’), Katoto, Cascarino (Malard 88’). Subs: Durand, Chavas, Cissoko, Torrent, Mateo, Gauvin, Baltimore, Asseyi.

Goals: Diani 45+2’, Bacha 90’

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Cymru: O'Sullivan, Roberts, Ladd, Evans, E Morgan, James, Harding, Fishlock, Ingle (c), C Jones (Morgan 68’), K Green. Subs: Clark, Soper, Woodham, J Green, Ward, Hughes, Walters, Estcourt, Williams, Wynne, Filbey.

Red Card: Green 70’

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Referee: Iuliana Demetrescu (Romania)