Eugenie Le Sommer scored a double for France.
Eugenie Le Sommer scored a double for France.

Young Matildas schooled by France

AN UNDERSTRENGTH Australia suffered a 2-0 loss to Women's World Cup hosts France in a friendly in Saint Etienne early on Saturday (AEST).

Veteran forward Eugenie Le Sommer scored goals at either end of the second half to ensure a deserved victory for the home side.

Missing rested headline names such as Sam Kerr, Alanna Kennedy, Lydia Williams and Emily van Egmond, the Matildas rode their luck at times to avoid a hefty defeat.

Australia went into the match having suffered just one loss in the last eight outings, but their rejigged backline was under constant pressure with France dominating possession.

Australia failed to test French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi until the final seven minutes when teenage substitute Mary Fowler was denied.

Lisa De Vanna fights hard to keep control against the French defence. Picture: Marc Atkins/Getty
Lisa De Vanna fights hard to keep control against the French defence. Picture: Marc Atkins/Getty

France were on the front foot from the outset with the opening stages marked by a nasty shoulder injury for France captain Amandine Henry, after she fell heavily under a late challenge from Matildas fullback Larissa Crummer.

France missed a host of gilt-edged chances with Gaetine Thiney, Kadidiatou Diani and Valerie Gauvin among the main offenders.

France finally got the goal they deserved 11 minutes into the second half as Le Sommer tapped home after Mackenzie Arnold was unable to grasp a loose ball in the penalty area.

Le Sommer doubled the advantage in the final minute with a superb long-range shot.

Australia will meet England in London on Tuesday ahead of home matches against Chile next month.


MOST WANTED: 8 people police need to speak with urgently

premium_icon MOST WANTED: 8 people police need to speak with urgently

POLICE are looking to speak with eight people they believe can assist them with...

Baby among 13 new NSW virus cases

premium_icon Baby among 13 new NSW virus cases

New rules now “strongly recommend” mask wearing in crowded areas

Do you need a fire permit in your area?

Do you need a fire permit in your area?

NSW RFS said the bush fire season has started early in some regions and urged...