France crush Canada in FIFA WC


France brutally ended the World Cup hopes of Canada here on Thursday virtually booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the global women’s tournament with a 4-0 Group A win. A double from Gaetane Thiney and second half goals from Camille Abily and Elodie Thomis put France on the way to their first quarter-final appearance at the women’s World Cup with just one group game to play. The French are assured of a place in the last eight unless Germany slip-up to Nigeria in Frankfurt later Thursday.
France won their opener against Nigeria 1-0 on Sunday and as the Canadians lost 2-1 to defending champions Germany they needed at least a draw to keep alive their hopes of being one of the two group teams to advance.
But the French outplayed their rivals with 25-year-old Thiney claiming her first World Cup goals in either half before Abily and substitute Thomis continued the slaughter. France piled the pressure from the outset with the CONCACAF champions lining up with skipper Christine Sinclair wearing a face mask after breaking her nose during Sunday’s game. Although the French dominated early the Canadians missed a chance to open after 15 minutes after a solo break by Diana Matheson ended in the midfielder losing ball possession.
But France’s pressing paid off as Thiney picked up a cross following a scramble on front of the Canadian goal to head past under pressure Erin McLeod. McLeod did well to keep out a Louisa Necib lob on 30 minutes by the tips of her fingers with Marie-Laure Delie missing an effort two minutes later as the French strikers pushed forward in search of the second goal.
After the break Delie missed a chance to add to her tally when alone on front of goal. But the pressure paid of after 60 minutes when Thiney picked up a Delie cross to fire into goal, and six minutes later Abily scored. Thomis claimed the fourth seven minutes from time when she broke through to advance past an advancing McLeod and roll the ball into an empty net to the delight to the crowd.
The French, who achieved just their second win in seven meetings against the Canadians, play their third and final group game against Germany in Moenchengladbach on Tuesday.