France Ladies 3-1 England Ladies: Disappointment for interim boss Riise when lionesses lose friendly
France Women 3-1 England Women: Disappointment for interim manager Hege Riise as Lionesses suffers defeat in friendly despite Fran Kirby’s penalty in the second half
- Kirby’s penalty was the only reward for England, as they lost a nice friendly match
- Goals in each half from Baltimore and Asseyi gave the hosts control in Caen
- Kirby’s penalty narrowed the deficit by 11 minutes on Friday
- But Katoto’s close-range effort sealed the win three minutes later
In her first real test as boss of England Women, Hege Riise discovered that her side is still in full development. Threatening forward, but prone to pace on the counterattack.
The Lionesses had thrashed Northern Ireland in Riise’s opening game as manager in February, but confronting the third-place team in the world proved to be a much more difficult task, despite some positive Covid cases hitting the strength of affected the French squad.
The hosts had not budged for eight games and had 11 clean sheets in their previous 12 games, but England should have had more than their only goal in Caen. It could easily have ended 2-2 if Kiera Walsh’s attempt hit the other side of the post before Marie-Antoinette Katoto raced to the other side to make it 3-1.
Forward Fran Kirby was a threat and gave England a lifeline from eleven meters
FRANCE (4-4-2): Peyraud-Magnin, Torrent (expired), Tounkara, De Almeida, Morrone, Pali (Jaurena 58) Geyoro Baltimore, Diane (Dali, 85), Katoto, Gauvin (Asseyi 58)
Subs: Durand, Thibaud, Jean-Francois, Le Sommer, Khelfi, Picaud, Fleury, Deslandes, Ntambwe
Booked: Palis, Torrent
Scorers: Baltimore 32, Asseyi 63, Katoto 82
ENGLAND (4-2-3-1): Roebuck, Daly, Williamson (Wubben-Moy 63), Bright, Greenwood (Charles 45), Scott (Nobbs 73), Walsh, Mead (Hemp 63), Kirby, Parris (Kelly 45), White (England 74)
Subs: MacIver, Bardsley, Wubben-Moy, Turner, Toone, Nobbs, Stanway, Telford, Morgan
Scorer: Kirby 79
Referee: Sara Persson
Like France, England also had players missing with captain Steph Houghton injured and Lucy Bronze stayed at home while recovering from a knock. Her absence felt on the right back when substitute Rachel Daly was caught on France’s opening goal in the 32nd minute.
The defender was pulled to the center when the hosts broke forward with Kadidiatou Diani down the other flank. That left Sandy Baltimore unmarked on the back post and she was there to hit her teammates’ crotch in the top corner.
The Lionesses had scored on the other side a little earlier, but Ellen White had strayed offside before completing a well-developed action involving Walsh and Beth Mead.
There should have been two more goals before half-time when Valerie Gauvin shot over Baltimore’s cross from close range, before Nikita Parris missed a big chance to equalize when she headed Walsh’s cross wide.
Daly was forced to switch to left back when Niamh Charles replaced Alex Greenwood at the start of the second half.
The Houstan Dash player is a forward or midfielder by nature, and although she has played as a full defender for the Lionesses before, the 29-year-old looked uncomfortable and was awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute with a brash challenge on Elisa de Almeida. .
Sandy Baltimore (left) opened the scoring for France with a strike to the top corner
Ellie Roebuck had made a great save to hit Diani’s shot on the crossbar, but Daly slammed into the Almeida as both players went for the rebound. Viviane Asseyi converted the penalty when she sent Roebuck the wrong way.
Lauren Hemp’s introduction in the 63rd minute changed the pace as the Manchester City winger provided the spark England had missed in the first hour.
The 20-year-old won a penalty for fouling Marion Torrent in the penalty area, while Kirby converted to score her first international goal since July 2019.
Viviane Asseyi celebrates after scoring the second goal for France in the 63rd minute
England looked like they would draw as Hemp and Kirby kept pushing forward for an equalizing goal and the opportunity came when the City player withdrew the ball for Walsh at the edge of the area, but the midfielder’s shot came back from the pole.
France, which had been so dangerous in the counterattack, broke forward again with Diani and she chose Katoto who kicked in from close range.
The Lionesses will try to bounce back when they face Canada on Tuesday at Stoke City’s Bet365 stadium.
Three minutes later, Marie-Antoinette Katoto took care of the victory