My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
All Times British Summer Time (BST)
FULL-TIME France 1-0 England
A defensive and disciplined performance from England is not enough as Le Sommer’s goal is the difference between the two sides. 16 wins in a row for France against England now…
Aluko’s flick looks like its played Kirby in, but Boulleau steals the ball from her just before the Reading player can get a shot off.
England work the ball well, a deflection sets up for Aluko but she snatches the chance and blasts it over. Four minutes of added time.
87 mins – FRANCE SUB
France will make their final change. Claire Lavogez replaces the impressive Louisa Necib.
England get a couple of crosses into the box, but France deal with it. England still failing with their final ball.
England keep giving the ball away in dangerous places. Bussaglia has a shot, but it goes wide.
81 mins – FRANCE SUB
Elise Bussaglia, who had equalised in that England 1-1 France World Cup Quarter-Final, replaces the goal scorer Le Sommer.
76 mins – ENGLAND SUB
England make their final change, with Jade Moore replacing Katie Chapman.
Le Sommer has another long distance shot, but it doesn’t find the target.
71 mins – FRANCE SUB
Kenza Dahil replaces Elodie Thomis.
France have the ball in the box with Necib dinks the ball into the box, Abily’s shot is saved an England clear. France should have had a player send off as Bassett is elbowed deliberately by Abily. Real intent there.
69 mins – England Sub
Interesting change here. Fran Kirby, who had been thought to have been ruled out with an illness, replaces Alex Scott. England go 4-3-3 with Bronze moving to right-back.
What can France do from this free-kick. 30 yards from goal. Necib’s ball is delightful but no French player could get a head onto it.
66 mins – YELLOW CARD
Katie Chapman picks up the game’s first booking, clipping the heels of Le Sommer.
Wonderful passing move by England as they get several players into the box, but Lucy Bronze’s final cross is poor.
60 mins – England Sub
Toni Duggan replaces Ellen White. Will she go up front with Aluko?
Great pressure from Aluko forces a mistake from the French keeper. Aluko’s corner is whipped along the floor into Jill Scott’s run, but her shot is saved.
Boulleaua’s pass picks up Le Sommer, who had lost by Houghton, but her first time effort goes wide.
England break again, with the two Scotts – but Alex Scott’s ball into the box is cleared. Better from the Lionesses.
A long French ball is flicked onto Tomis who had moved into the centre, but Bardsley was alert and cleared the ball.
A great run down the left from Bronze sees her put a beautiful ball in, but Georges heads clear.
Le Sommer has a shot from 20 yards well saved by Bardsley, but the shot was straight at the keeper.
England kick off the second half. No changes yet.
HALF TIME France 1-0 England
The French go in at half-time 1-0 up thanks to Le Sommer’s wonder striker. England have defended admirably, but they have not shown any real consistent attacking threat. When does Sampson change things?
France have a corner. Can they score just before half-time. Necib’s cross is headed behind by Ellen White. France take the next corner short, with Abily’s delightful cross is caught well by Bardsley. 1 minute of added time is signalled.
A lovely fast French sees Le Sommer play Houara down the right into the box. She overhits the cross, but the referee misses Claire Rafferty who takes out the PSG player after the ball had gone. Should have been a penalty all day long.
41 mins – CLOSE
A brilliant cross there from Alex Scott. The French keeper and Bronze challenge the ball, but Georges heads it to Chapman. She tries to lob the keeper, but she is leaning backwards and the efforts goes wide. England’s best chance.
France have a corner. Necib plays the ball in, Bardsley comes to punch and misses it, but France can’t do anything but work the ball back. Necib gets into the box, dances around Rafferty and Williams before shooting into the side-netting.
France are beginning to overload the wings, with their full-backs getting forward. What can England do? Does Sampson change the formation, or is that too soon?
29 mins – GOAL FRANCE 1-0 England (Le Sommer)
England try and be clever with their passing and Le Sommer robs Chapman of the ball, before firing the ball into the right corner – and despite Bardsley getting a hand to it, she can’t keep it out.
Necib plays to Gaetane Thiney who had dropped deep to the edge of the box, turned but her shot was saved low down by Bardsley. Houghton lost her player there.
A French throw finds Le Sommer, but her shot is deflected by Williams behind. Necib’s corner is punched clear by Bardsley before Georges mishits her first shot, and after a scramble England clear the danger. Aluko is back on, and seems fine.
Eniola Aluko has gone down to an injury to her right foot.
France have a free-kick in a dangerous place down the left-wing, just outside the box. Necib’s swings the ball towards the near post, but Bardsley punches it clear well.
France play a long ball into the box where Thomis controls it, but Rafferty uses her physicality to shepherd the ball and as Lucy Bronze comes to help, draws the foul.
Jill Scott powers into the France half, she tries to play to Aluko in the box and it takes a deflection of Renard and the keeper catches it. Was that a pass-back? Not according to the ref.
Houara tries to pick out Necid with a switch pass, but it is just too high.
Tenacious work by Jill Scott down the right wins a throw-in. Superb from the Manchester City player. England are committed and determined so far.
A wonderful ball from Chapman down the line to Aluko is only just cleared by Bouhaddi. Then Jill Scott gets down the right, but her cross is just mis-hit.
Risky from Claire Rafferty as she turns as Thomis tries to break in the box, but as she did, Rafferty was fouled.
Henry is given the space to run at England, but her shot from 20 yards is blocked well by Lucy Bronze.
Houara’s long ball plays Le Sommer over the defence, but Steph Houghton clears the danger. France’s coner is cleared, and Houara’s second ball picks out Abily, but her header goes well. France are starting to control the possession.
Henry puts in a cross from the right. White mis-controls, and Boulleau’s driven shot is charged down by White. France’s corner is cleared by England.
Another corner for England. Aluko’s delivery is good, but France clear it.
England have a corner. It’s raining and windy now. Aluko’s corner is caught by Bouhaddi. Will this weather help England?
England have a free-kick from 40 yards. Fara Williams’ delivery is cleared though.
England tactics are obvious. Get it to Eniola Aluko.
France get’s the tie underway.
The anthems are done…minutes away from England starting their campaign…This is when it gets serious. It’s a windy day, will that affect the game?
The last time England beat France? 1974…They haven’t beaten France in a major competition.
England’s next games are against Colombia and Mexico, are they are matches they should win. So this should not be a do-or-die match, but it is vital to get a great opening result. And if they win, imagine the confidence that will give them. England’s ambition will be to reach the quarter-finals – beating France will show that they could actually do something special.
France are the World Number 3 whilst England are ranked 6 – but France are the overwhelming favourites. In the last World Cup, France finished in 4th place after losing to USA in the Semi-Finals. The French squad is full of players from Lyon and PSG – two of the most successful clubs in the World. Make no mistake, England will have to be at their very best here.
17:45 – Lineups
Mark Sampson has named a very defensive team, with Lucy Bronze playing on the left-wing to deal with Elodie Thomis. The BBC thinks England will play 4-1-4-1 formation, with Williams as a holding midfielder, but these are the official FIFA formations.
9th July 2011. 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarter-Final. England vs France. Jill Scott puts England 1-0, but in the 88th minute, Elisse Bussaglia equalised. And then, the ever so familiar penalty shoot-out defeat.
18th July 2013. 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship. England have to win their final group game to qualify. France thrash them 3-0.
Revenge? Two of the world’s oldest enemies go into battle once more.