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Hosts France crush South Korea 4-0 in Women's WC opener

Published : 08 Jun 2019, 03:42


Wendie Renard (2nd L, Front) of France celebrates her scoring during the opening match between France and South Korea at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in Pairs, France, June 7, 2019. Photo Xinhua/Shan Yuqi.

Hosts France kicked off a flying start at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, putting the quadrennial event underway with a 4-0 victory over their Group A rivals South Korea here on Friday.

Eugenie Le Sommer scored the tournament's first goal, Wendie Renard made a double and skipper Amandine Henry added the fourth, as 45,261 fans watched the one-sided encounter at Parc des Princes.

Just nine minutes into the opening match, Lyon striker Le Sommer was picked out by her club teammate Henry and cooly trucked away to open scoring for Les Bleues.

The goal also marked the fastest score in history, dating any of the first goal records of all seven previous editions of the quadrennial competitions.

"I'm so happy to have scored the tournament's first goal," Le Sommer said.

"It means a lot for us to win the opening match," she added. "The victory gave us a boost in confidence and proved what we are capable of."

The star forward of the newly crowned UEFA champions League winners described the match "a perfect start" for France to kick off the World Cup on home soil and praised her squad to have played a "magnificent game".

"We start strong, especially in the opening 15 minutes, having created a bunch of opportunities even before my scoring," Le Sommer said.

Another Lyon player Griedge Mbock Bathy could have made it two, but the 24-year-old defender's effort on 27 minutes was canceled after Uruguay referee Claudia Umpierrez ruled it offside after a VAR review.

Eight minutes later, however, Wendie Renard converted in Gaetane Thiney's corner with a header to double France's advantage.

And two minutes into the stoppage time of the first half, the 1.82-meter tall center back, the tallest of these finals, jumped high to power home Amel Majri's corner from the penalty spot, 3-0.

Les Bleues skipper Henry wrapped the opening victory up as the midfielder, also playing for Lyon, picked up possession out of the box and curled an unstoppable shot beyond the reach of South Korean goalie Kim Minjung.

Having called up seven Lyon players in her 23-strong squad, France's coach Corinne Diacre opted to send them all among the starting 11.

Her counterpart of the South Korea team, Yoon Dukyeo, stood most of the second half on the edge of his technical area, trying to get the players to find their rhythm, but his players kept struggling to find their feet though to the end of the tournament opener.

The tournament set to fully begin on Saturday with a slate of three games.