Katoto in seventh heaven, the technical waste of Les Bleues… The tops and flops

the light of Katoto, the ordeal of Puntigam AFP / FRANCK FIFE / REUTERS / STEPHANE MAHE

The Blues crushed Austria (3-0) this Friday evening at Roazhon Park at Stade Rennais, during the 5th day of group B of the Women’s Nations League.


The beautiful story of Katoto

505 days. This is how long Paris Saint-Germain striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto has been away from football following her serious cruciate knee ligament injury during Euro 2022 with Les Bleues. Present in a professional group for the first time since this sad July 14, 2022, the native of Colombes did not start at kick-off but came into play in place of Kenza Dali at half-time (46th) . A change of arrangement was therefore developed by Hervé Renard, going from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-2 with Le Sommer and Katoto up front. A way to maximize the offensive potential of the Blues who played much better in the second half thanks to Katoto who demonstrated accuracy, efficiency and consistency. She even scored a goal with a magnificent cross header from a corner (84th, 3-0).

Read alsoNations League F: the Blues have Austria and will play the Final Four

Dangerous set pieces

This is one of the rare areas where the Blues have shown constant and regular positive results. During the lackluster first period, the danger mainly came from the aerial play on free kicks and corners. The left paw of Selma Bacha, author of two ists this evening, was essential for the French. On Amandine Henry’s opening score, the Lyonnaise took her free kick perfectly on the right side to place the ball on her teammate’s head. Same thing on a corner to offer a nice cross header to Marie-Antoinette Katoto. Over the entire match, Hervé Renard’s players had a total of five corners taken and seven free kicks. A way to obtain offensive opportunities when technical waste in ping was too present.


The waste of the first act

Despite the final score which is quite high, the players made too much waste in creation, which remains a negative point for a selection of a Blue status. Certainly, France had solid first minutes, marked by solid pressing on the Austrian block. Unfortunately, consistency was not there despite acquired possession. The meeting then declined in intensity and quality. The Blues struggled to combine effectively and cleanly with each other. The pes were often too long and poorly adjusted in this first period, marked by many errors made and technical waste, especially in the last pes. The penalty missed by Eugénie Le Sommer before the break is the perfect illustration of this (44th).

Puntigam’s mistakes

The evening was very complicated for the Austrian defense and captain Sarah Puntigam represented all the concerns of Irene Fuhrmann’s players. She ended the match with around ten lost balls, often on the outskirts of her area on bad throws. Worse still, she gave the Blues a penalty just before the break. Fortunately for Austria, Eugénie Le Sommer did not convert it. But like his defense friends Marina Georgieva and Virginia Kirchberger, Puntigam was unable to fulfill his defensive role by providing solid coverage. Note that she also finished the match with no recoveries, no tackles, no duels won and only one clearance. For a captain, she also didn’t seem very vocal and communicative with her team. Hard blow for Austria and the one who combines 136 selections at 31 years old. His experience was clearly not felt this Friday evening in Rennes, in front of 26,453 French supporters.

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