France kicks off Women’s World Cup with dominant win over South Korea

Associated Press

The celebration is under way, the tournament is kicked off, and it’s all going according to plan for the host nation.

Fresh off the opening ceremonies of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, host nation France dominated South Korea from start to finish, putting forth a clinical performance as they completed a commanding 4-0 victory in front of a raucous crown in Paris.

From the opening kickoff, France looked every bit the juggernaut it has been billed as. They created three early chances in the opening 10 minutes, and on the fourth, Eugenie Le Sommer scored the first goal of the 2019 Women’s World Cup to give France an early lead.

South Korea was on its heels all first half, and France captain Amandine Henry won the ball down the right in space. She burst all the way to the end line before cutting back into the middle, where Amel Majri let the ball go so it would fall right at the feet of a streaking Le Sommer for the blasted finish. The ninth-minute strike marked the earliest goal in a Women’s World Cup opening match.

The onslaught continued, and while Wendie Renard had a wonderful side volley wiped off on VAR for a marginal offside, she would eventually get her goal in the 35th minute on a towering header at the far post on a corner. Renard struck again just before halftime to extend the lead to 3-0, again off a corner which she headed inside the near post, making use of her status as tallest player in the tournament.

With France cruising through the second half, captain Amadine Henry added her name to the scoresheet in the 85th minute for icing on the cake, catching South Korean goalkeeper Kim Minjung off guard with a shot from outside the top of the box that curled inside the far post.

With the tournament set to fully begin tomorrow with a slate of three games, France secures itself as the sixth straight host to win its opening game, dating back to Sweden’s loss to Brazil in 1995. South Korea still has a great chance to make it through to the knockout stage, set to match up with Nigeria and Norway in Group A play.