France Cruise Past South Korea in 2019 Women's World Cup Opener

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2019

France's Wendie Renard, second from left, celebrates with teammates after scoring her second goal during the Women's World Cup Group A soccer match between France and South Korea at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Hosts France started their bid to win the 2019 Women's World Cup off on the right foot, earning a simple 4-0 win over South Korea.

Eugenie Le Sommer got the opener inside of 10 minutes, and Wendie Renard struck with two headers to give the hosts a big lead in the first half. France calmly played out the contest after the break, adding a fourth goal through Amandine Henry.

Les Bleues are among the favourites for the title on home soil.

France could have taken a lead inside of five minutes after a mistake from Kim Min-jung, who badly misjudged a cross and was fortunate Le Sommer couldn't react in time.

Amel Majri and Kadidiatou Diani also had promising looks on goal, as Les Bleues came out with a relentless pace, pushing the Koreans back.

The opening goal seemed just a matter of time, and after nine minutes, Le Sommer struck, finishing off a great attacking move from the hosts for the first goal of the tournament.

It was no surprise she got the goal:

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And the hosts didn't let up after grabbing the opener, as they immediately went looking for a second. It didn't result in any big chances, however, and the guests started to improve as the half wore on.

But despite their improvements, the gap in skill level between the teams remained huge. It was perhaps best illustrated when Jung Seol-bin curled a corner directly into the side-netting:

Les Bleues' momentum picked up again at the midway point of the first half, and it didn't take long for Mbock Bathy to double the lead after a clever corner routine. VAR intervened, however:

It was only a delay of the inevitable, however, as Renard got the second goal just minutes later.

Corners were a huge issue for the Korean side, as they couldn't deal with the sheer size of the French defenders. Just before half-time, Renard got her second goal of the half with another fine header.

Per Get French Football News, it wasn't much of a contest:

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Unsurprisingly, France played with less intensity after the break, opting to preserve the lead and not waste energy against an opponent that was clearly overmatched.

They were still dangerous on set pieces, with Majri firing in several great corners, but space started to open up for the Koreans, who found their first shot after 70 minutes through Kang Chae-rim.

France were simply too good for the Asian side:

Lee Mi-na missed Korea's best chance after a rare error from Renard, pulling her shot wide, while Les Bleues suffered a slight scare late as Le Sommer took a heavy hit that left her with a slight limp.

There was time for one more goal, with Henry curling home a wonderful effort after 84 minutes.

    

What's Next?

Both teams will be in action again on Wednesday, when France face Norway and South Korea take on Nigeria.

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