France overcome Japan 3-1 in women's soccer friendly

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-05 05:31:52|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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PARIS, April 4 (Xinhua) -- France overcame former champions Japan 3-1 in an international football friendly on Thursday as preaparation for the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup on their home soil.

Goals from Valerie Gauvin, Eugenie Le Sommer and Kadidiatou Diani boosted France's confidence for their World Cup campaign set to kick off two months later. Japan, the 2011 world champions, once leveled the score through Rikako Kobayashi's strike.

Gauvin saw her close-range nodding attempt parried by Japanese goalkeeper, but the match referee ratified the goal as the ball crossed the line four minutes into the highly-anticipated clash in Auxerre.

France lost starting goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin due to injury after 20 minutes of play. Sarah Bouhaddi, who stepped up for Peyraud-Magnin, conceded a goal from Kobayashi shortly afterwards.

Le Sommer restored the hosts' advantage in the 33rd minute, when her volley deflected off Japanese defenders into the net.

France maintained an upper hand after the restart, and Diani sidefooted to secure their victory with eight minutes from time.

France are scheduled to take on Denmark in Strasbourg in next Monday's friendly.

France, with the best result of fourth place at the quadrennial tournament in 2011, will take on South Korea, Norway and Nigeria in the World Cup group stage, while Japan are in Group D with England, Scotland and Argentina.

The 2019 edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup is slated from June 7 to July 7.