SYDNEY (AP) — France captain Wendie Renard and all-time leading scorer Eugénie Le Sommer were on the bench for the start of Les Bleus match against Panama in the Group F finale of the Women’s World Cup.

Renard and Le Sommer scored France’s only two goals in the first two group games of the tournament; both in a 2-1 win over Brazil.

France coach Hervé Renard said the day before the Wednesday match he would decide Renard’s availability after speaking with her ahead of the game. The defender suffered a calf injury in France’s opening match against Jamaica and it limited her training over the past week.

France entered the finale atop Group F with four points. The match between second-place Jamaica and third-place Brazil was being played simultaneously in Melbourne.

France could be eliminated if it loses to Panama, Brazil defeats Jamaica, and Jamaica edges France on tiebreakers.

Against Brazil, Le Sommer scored the opening goal for Les Bleues in the 17th minute. Renard clinched the game in the 83rd minute, scoring on a header from a corner kick.

In addition to the Olympique Lyonnais teammates, midfielder Sandie Toletti, midfielder Kenza Dali and defender Sakina Karchaoui were on the bench for France.

All five players started the match against Brazil.


Tori Newman is a student at the University of Georgia’s Carmical Sports Media Institute.


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