France completed a perfect three wins from three in Group A with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria thanks to a re-taken penalty by Wendie Renard
A furious Nigeria manager, Thomas Dennerby, claimed the officials had ruined the match after Wendie Renards retaken penalty following a double VAR check ensured France progress to the last 16 having topped Group A. Nigerias hopes of a third-place finish now hang by a thread.
If I gave you honest opinions, they would probably send me home, he said, bluntly. When asked about his teams performance, he replied: My players are heroes.
The France manager, Corinne Diacre, was pleased to benefit from the referee following the letter of the law. There are new rules so we know that the goalkeeper has to have at least one foot on the line, which wasnt the case, she said. Thats why she was given a yellow card and that was a little bit severe for her but we have to apply the rules.
With the sun setting, the Rennes ultras known for their flares, flags, coordinated celebrations, drums and constant singing were out in force for Les Bleus.
France laboured early on, though, against a side that secured a surprise three points against the run of play in a 2-0 defeat of South Korea. The four changes to the French starting XI leaving out the Lyon forwards Eugnie Le Sommer and Kadidiatou Diani had clearly disrupted their rhythm.
Delphine Cascarino was by far their brightest outlet on the right, causing problems for the left-back, Ngozi Ebere, who eventually picked up a yellow card for clearing out the 22-yearold, but without Diani and Le Sommer, and Valrie Gauvin quiet, Cascarino was forced to resort to playing for corners rather than whipping balls into more dangerous areas.