NICE, France (Reuters) – Wendie Renard’s own goal in a 2-1 win over Norway on Wednesday came as reminder that France need to keep their feet on the ground if they are to claim their first women’s World Cup title.
Centre back Renard deflected Isabell Herlovsen’s cross into her own goal as Norway equalized following Valerie Gauvin’s opener, five days after the Olympique Lyonnais player had scored a double in a 4-0 win over South Korea in the opening Group A game.
“It shows that you need to keep your feet on the ground,” said Renard.
Her error was canceled out by Eugenie Le Sommer’s penalty in the 72nd minute after a VAR review, which put Les Bleues top of Group A and needing a draw against Nigeria to advance into the last 16.
“It was not easy tonight. We played with our heads against a tough opponent. We know we’re not going to win all our games 4-0,” France coach Corinne Diacre said.
“We did what we had to do in the second half. We reacted well after my own goal, we stayed focused,” said Renard.
“In the end we managed to get that penalty and we’re almost qualified.”
Norway coach Martin Sjogren said he was not sure if it was a penalty or not, referring to the spot-kick awarded following a VAR review after Ingrid Engen appeared to kick Marion Torrent.
“We lost the match but I thought we were equal with the French. Of course, there are many feelings after the match,” Sjogren added.
“Sometimes you can handle these feelings and sometimes not. We knew that we were going to face a very good opponent and we had a good plan I think.”
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)