UEFA Euro 2017 Qualifier - France 1-0 Greece: Hosts continue unbeaten qualifying campaign

Le Sommer the difference for Les Bleus in Rennes.

UEFA Euro 2017 Qualifier - France 1-0 Greece: Hosts continue unbeaten qualifying campaign
France players celebrate at the final whistle (Photo: French Football Federation)
France
1 0
Greece
France: Bouhaddi; Karchoui, Mbock, Delannoy (C), Dali; Diani (Leger, min.80), Majri, Bussaglia, Abily; Le Sommer (Delie, min.58)
Greece: Peletidou; Chatzigiannidou (C), Vlasiadou, Charouia, Georgiou (Kotsaki, min.84); Markou (Kollia, min.71), Kongouli, Moraitou, Papadapoulou, Kakampouki; Nati (Kokoviadou, min.65)
SCORE: 1-0, min.36, Le Sommer
REFEREE: Esther Azzopardi (MLT)
INCIDENTS: Stade de la Route-de-Lorient (Rennes FRA) 24,835 spectators.

France may have already booked their place at the European Finals in the Netherlands next year, but they showed little signs of complacency against a sturdy Greek defence.

Alongside Germany, France became the first team to book qualification on 11 April when they thrashed a Ukraine side 4-0 in Valenciennes. Les Bleus are yet drop a point in their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign and they continued their run of not conceding a goal against Greece tonight.

The victory was France's seventh consecutive victory in qualifying and Phillipe Bergeroo's side also set a new attendance record with 24,000 spectators present at Roazhan Park.

With eight players in the squad from the Champions League-winning Olympique Lyonnais side, spirits were bound to be high. Lyon, who are the most successful club in the history of the Division 1 Feminine with fourteen league titles, were crowned champions of Europe for the third time last week and it was one of their own, Eugenie Le Sommer, who was the victor again tonight.

The striker broke the deadlock for Les Blues from close range inside the first half, after France dominated from the whistle.

Imposing first half from the Blues

Bergeroos' side started the match as they meant to go on, pressing high, forcing the opposition into making mistakes and enjoyed commanding spells of possession through the first and second 45.

An early opportunity arrived in the way of Kadidiatou Diani, who found herself on the end of an Elise Bussaglia cross - but the Juvisy forward couldn't quite get the right connection and ended up heading the ball into the ground. The provider, Bussaglia had the bit between her teeth in this match, the midfielder was trying to get back to winning ways after she was one of the Wolfsburg players, to miss a crucial spot-kick in the Champions League Final defeat to Lyon.

Chances kept on coming for France and Amel Majri came the closest in the 22nd minute. Great work down the left by Le Sommer, who squared the ball across the front of goal for Majri to get in front of her defender, keeper Eleni Peletidou was caught in no-man's land, but the winger poked her shot just wide of the target.

The French attacking force kept knocking at the door, with Majri causing the Greece defence all sorts of problems. 

However, Le Sommer finally broke the deadlock on the 36th minute. Portland Thorns- bound Amandine Henry picked out Bussaglia with a wonderful ball, the Wolfsburg midfielder's cushioned header found Le Sommer to nod home from close range.

The 27-year-old could of bagged a hat-trick before the half was over, but she failed to convert the chances. Peletidou's right hand post kept Greece in the game in the latter stages of the first half. Dimitrios Batsilas' team failed to clear their lines, before Le Sommer struck a sweet volley which skimmed off the ground and struck a post, to the relief of the Greek keeper.

As the half-time break was looming, Le Sommer produced some majestic footwork to weave through the opposition's defence before unleashing a powerful shot which, unfortunately for the French player, stung the top of Peletidou's cross bar.

Greece hold firm after the break

It was one-way traffic in the second half, with Greece rarely venturing out of their own half. 

However, they held their own with a gritty, solid, defensively minded second half display. The best opportunity France had of doubling their lead, came in the 73rd minute. Camille Abily turned her defender in the box and whipped a ball to the back post but Marie-Laure Delie's shot was parried by Peletidou. Abily out-stretched a leg but could not make any connection with the ball to turn home the rebound.

Up next for both teams

Next up for Greece is a trip to Ukraine on 7 June, who are currently third in group 3 and level on 10 points with Romania. France will aim to continue their unbeaten qualifying campaign when they host Albania in September.