Nouvelles sportives

Undervalued oranges, sought-after efficiency and influential rear

On the bill: France – Netherlands

The French celebrate their second goal against Belgium (2-1) on July 14, synonymous with qualification for the quarter-finals of the Euro.

The Blues against the Oranges, or, to speak numbers, the 3e nation in the FIFA ranking against the 4e. This last quarter-final of the Women’s Football Euro – which will take place on Saturday July 23 in Rotherham, where the France team has already played its three previous matches – promises to be as disputed as it is uncertain.

The Dutch, who finished second in their group in the group stage, were heckled. Between the losses of some executives to injuries (goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and striker Lieke Martens) and Covid-19 infections (top scorer Vivianne Miedema and midfielder Jackie Groenen), the reigning European champions had bad luck.

On the pitch, their first three games were not brilliant: a draw against Sweden (1-1), followed by a hard-fought success against Portugal (3-2) and a hard-fought qualification in the last minutes against Switzerland (4-1).

The coach of Les Bleues, Corinne Deacon, warned her troops after the draw against Iceland (1-1) on Monday: “We have to be more efficient. » In their last two games, the French have indeed shot thirty-nine times on goal, for only three achievements. Undefeated since June 10, 2021, the Bleues will try, on Saturday, to break their curse: to finally pass the course of the quarter-finals in an international competition.

Euro star: Sakina Karchaoui

Sakina Karchaoui during the match between France and the Netherlands (3-0) in Le Havre, February 22, 2022.

Whether in club, in the PSG jersey, or in selection, blue tunic on the shoulders, Sakina Karchaoui is the archetype of the modern left back: solid in defense, but just as comfortable, and, above all , influential when it is necessary to go on the attack on his side of the field.

This beginning of Euro demonstrated it. The offensive percussions of the native of Bouches-du-Rhône have borne fruit against Italy (it is she who opens the way to the goal of Delphine Cascarino), or even against Belgium (a ball placed on the head of Kadidiatou Diani).

His regret at this stage? Not having yet scored with the France team, despite his fifty selections. The defender, usually not very interested in goals, nevertheless comes out of her most prolific season, with four goals scored with Paris-Saint-Germain. What surprise the Dutch and open its counter on Saturday?

Volleyball: coach or show promoter?

Dutch supporters were present in large numbers to support their selection against Portugal on July 13.

« Everyone thinks France are going to win this game, and that we’re only here to help sell tickets. »

The declaration, full of humor, is that of the coach of the Netherlands, Mark Parsons, captured by The Team during training for the Dutch on Wednesday July 19. The Briton is referring here to the wave of orange supporters that descends on each stadium visited by his players, as well as to the status of favorites granted to the French.

Although Vivianne Miedema came out of solitary confinement where she had been placed since July 12, Mark Parsons did not confirm her presence against France on Saturday. But he was not pessimistic about the outcome of the match: “We will try to use our strengths and our qualities to the maximum, and we will see what will happen. »

In retrospect: Sweden beat Belgium 1-0.

They were patient, and were eventually rewarded. Yet largely favorites against Belgium, the Swedes experienced immense difficulty in breaking the lock of the Red Flames on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Euro football. Dominating from start to finish, 34 shots to three, the Swedish players stumbled for more than 90 minutes on Belgian goalkeeper Nicky Evrard who stopped everything except the last shot of the match in added time (90e + 2). A liberating goal signed by defender Linda Sembrant after a final corner badly repelled by the opposing defense. The Olympic vice-champions will face England next Tuesday in Sheffield for a place in the final.

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