France to take late call on captain Renard’s fitness for Brazil clash

BRISBANE, July 28 (Reuters) – France captain Wendie Renard remains an injury doubt for their crunch Women’s World Cup clash against Brazil, coach Herve Renard said, adding that he will leave it late to made a decision on the defender’s availability.

Wendie Renard sustained a calf injury during France’s opening goalless draw with Jamaica on Sunday but still played the full 90 minutes. The 33-year-old centre back trained with the squad ahead of Saturday’s match at Lang Park.

France last exited the World Cup in the group stage in 2003 – they did not qualify for the 2007 tournament – but defeat by Group F leaders Brazil on Sunday could leave them on the brink of elimination.

“Our hope is that everything goes well because we need her,” Herve Renard told reporters on Friday. “We are not 100% sure tonight. We will know tomorrow.

“Our training is quite intense and we will have to see how things happen once we face the match.”

Winger Selma Bacha and defender Elisa De Almeida also trained after missing the Jamaica match. Herve Renard said he was “100%” Bacha would be fit to face Brazil.

“We are crossing our fingers and we are hoping to see them on the field tomorrow,” he added.

France are unbeaten against Brazil in their last 11 meetings, with six wins and five draws. They also won 2-1 after extra time in the last 16 stage of the 2019 World Cup.

Herve Renard lauded the Brazilian team and their experienced coach Pia Sundhage, who led the United States to Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012 and her native Sweden to the silver medal in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Games.

“Their team has made huge progress in the last (few) years and have had very good results,” Herve Renard said. “They have a very good coach with very important experiences behind her at very high levels.

“We started quite slowly … So tomorrow the challenge is that it’s not only a group match, but it’s an important match so that we can qualify. This may define how the group closes and we will do our best.”

Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad
Editing by Christian Radnedge

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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