PARIS, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese women's national football team suffered a 2-1 loss to France on Friday in its final warmup one week before the FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off in France.
Witnessed by over 10,000 spectators in the Stade Duvauchelle in Cretail, a southeastern suburb of Paris, Valerie Gauvin broke the deadlock for the hosts around the half hour mark. China leveled the score early in the second half through Wang Shanshan's chip shot, but their opponents managed a win through Kadidiatou Diani's solo play later on.
China's head coach Jia Xiuquan arranged a starting format of 4-4-2, with Peng Shimeng standing between the posts, and Wang Shanshan and Yang Li up in front.
The 16th-placed team restrained the fourth-ranked France in the first half hour, but paid for a defensive error afterwards.
Following Chinese defenders' poor clearance, Marion Torrent fired a shot that turned out as an assist. The ball fell in front of Gauvin, who sent a close-range strike scrape off the underside of bar into the net.
Second half substitute Wang Shuang, playing in French club Paris Saint-Germain, fed Wang Shanshan with a stitching cross, and her attacking partner made no mistake against a rushing goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi in the 52nd minute.
It took France merely six minutes to stay ahead again, as Diani broke into Chinese team's defense with her eye-catching technique before guiding it home with a powerful strike. Les Bleus held on until the final whistle through their solid defense.
"We can build our confidence through this match. Facing powerhouses, we just need to focus ourselves. If we do well, we are not lagging behind them that far," China's scorer Wang pointed out.
"We didn't give our opponents many chances in the first half. Then they scored a goal, but we showed our improvement in offense after the restart, and managed a goal," her teammate Lou Jiahui said.
The quadrennial FIFA Women's World Cup will kick off between France and South Korea at the Parc des Princes in Paris on June 7.
China, placed in group B, will play its first group match against Germany in Rennes on June 8, with Spain and South Africa the other two opponents in the group.