France cruised to a 4-0 win over Canada in their Group A meeting in Bochum, with Gaetane Thiney becoming the first Les Bleues player to score a brace at the FIFA Women's World Cup in the process.
The Juvicy forward, making her 50th appearance for the Bruno Bini’s side, scored in either half in a match which France dominated from start to finish. Such was the extent of their supremacy that Canada failed to register a shot on target during the entire 90 minutes.
The signs were ominous for Carolina Morace’s side as early as the seventh minute when Marie-Laure Delie forced a save from former Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Erin McLeod. Seventeen minutes later, they went ahead. Louisa Necib picked up the ball on the edge of the box and found Elise Bussaglia. Her shot was deflected high into the air off Emily Zurrer and Thiney was on hand to head the ball home.
McLeod produced arguably the save of the tournament so far to deny Necib, diving at full stretch to palm the ball away. Delie went close twice before the interval, as the French threatened to run riot.
They did so in the second half. On the hour mark, under pressure from Delie, the unfortunate Zurrer passed the ball to Thiney and she curled the ball just inside the post for France’s second.
The third goal also came from another defensive error from Canada when Desiree Scott allowed Camille Abily to escape her attentions and the latter’s free header from Sandrine Soubeyrand’s corner looped into the top corner.
Former 'Caps striker Christine Sinclair, playing with a face mask to protect her broken nose, received a bang to the face and was off the pitch when France completed the rout. A long ball from Necib was played to substitute Elodie Thomis. She timed her run to perfection to spring the offside trap and coolly finished passed the onrushing McLeod.
The result was enough to see France qualify for the quarterfinals and eliminate Canada from FIFA Women's World Cup contention. Germany joined France in the quarters after defeating Nigeria 1-0 in the other Group A match on Thursday.