Clermont’s Corinne Diacre became the first woman to manage in the top two tiers of any European professional league on Monday, but unfortunately, that piece of history didn’t come with a positive result. After Diacre’s team took a ninth minute lead at Stade Francis-Le Bié, Brest came back to post a 2-1 result, sending their history-making guests to a loss to open France’s Ligue 2 season.
Diacre, a former defender who made 121 appearances for the French national team, was given the Clermont job this summer after the resignation of Helena Costa, who left the before coaching a game. Despite her predecessor’s concerns about the position, Diacre signed onto the job, making her the highest-placed female manager in the history of European men’s soccer.
Monday’s match coincided with Diacre’s 40th birthday, with Brest manager Alex Dupont presenting her a bouquet of flowers before the game. Shortly after, Souleymane Sawadogo gave the visitors a ninth minute lead, one that was reversed by Bruno Grougi and Alexandre Alphonse in the second half.
After the loss, Diacre’s view looks about history than the result on the field. From the Associated Press:
“It’s never nice to lose, that’s obvious,” Diacre said. “But Brest played well. We made a couple of mistakes for their goals. But we did good things too, which is a good sign for the future. You can’t ignore Clermont this season.”[…]
“We didn’t know how to keep the ball today, that was one of our weaknesses,” Diacre said. “We didn’t use the ball well, we didn’t develop our game as we could have, as we should have. That’s what put us in danger. There are plenty of positive things. I have a young team and I’m happy with my players because they gave everything.”
Clermont, who finished 14th in Ligue 2 last season, continues their season on Friday against visiting Auxerre.