Brazil foiled by France again and faces uphill climb to advance at Women’s World Cup

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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – France proved it is still Brazil’s kryptonite.

A 2-1 loss at the Women’s World Cup on Saturday stretched Brazil’s winless run against the French to 12 games.

The result is all too familiar for Brazil, which lost to France in the quarterfinals the 2019 Women’s World Cup by the same score.

Brazil then hired the experienced Pia Sundhage as its head coach in hopes of making the changes needed to defeat teams like France. Sundhage had coached the United States to two Olympic gold medals and a runner-up finish in the 2011 Women’s World Cup.

This year’s team features 11 first-time World Cup players, but despite the changes Brazil is left still searching for its first win over Les Bleues. The best they’ve managed is five draws.

At least Saturday’s defeat was only in the group stage.

“We are frustrated because of the loss,” defender and captain Rafaelle Souza said.

France’s game-winning goal came in the 83rd minute off Wendie Renard’s header from a corner kick.

Prior to the match, Brazil talked about the importance of defending set pieces. In its 2019 World Cup loss, France’s game-winner was scored off of a set piece.

“We knew that France was good at set pieces and we knew that we struggle with this a lot of times against them,” Souza said after Saturday’s loss.

Sundhage cited her team’s struggles to possess the ball and combine in ways that create scoring chances.

“The problem today was when you play the ball to feet, too many times we dispossessed,” she said. “We were not connected. There is another way, by putting the ball behind their backline, but we were not specific and we were not precise enough.”

With a win and a loss, Brazil will prepare for its final Group F match against Jamaica on Wednesday in Melbourne.

Jamaica’s victory over Panama means Brazil trails both Jamaica and France by one point.

“Now we have to look up, heads up and focus on the next game because it’s all or nothing.” Souza said.


AP World Cup coverage: and

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