More than 15,000 fans traveled to Stade du Moustoir in Lorient, France to see the French women’s national team expose a struggling United States team today.
While much of the pre-match talk may have surrounded goalkeeper Hope Solo’s absence, American goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was one of the few who appeared ready for the match—making two fantastic saves in the first half.
Solo’s absence was barely noticeable; the midfield and defense, however, did not impress.
Giveaways, turnovers and questionable positioning left the visitors outclassed by Les Bleus. Eugenie Le Sommer struck first for the hosts (just minutes after halftime), getting her head on the end of a cross from teammate Élodie Thomis.
Thomis made the run into the right edge of the box—breezing by left-back Lori Chalupny—to send a ball over to Le Sommer, who jumped right over Meghan Klingenberg to find the back of the net.
Two minutes later, the French struck again. After receiving a great ball, Jessica Houara made (what appeared to be) a mis-hit cross right on the edge of the box. Amazingly, the ball sailed across the box and slammed off the far post and into the net.
The United States had a chance to pull one back after the referee awarded the visitors with a questionable penalty, but Abby Wambach’s effort wasn’t strong enough to get past goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi.
After 90 minutes, the match ended with the French earning a first-ever victory against the Americans.
The loss did nothing to settle the questions many had about U.S. head coach Jill Ellis’ choice of positioning but the Americans will receive another pre-World Cup test when facing off against England on Friday in Milton Keynes, England.