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Following their opening-day crushing defeat to USA, France came into this match needing to win to stand a chance of a shot at the final. Spain had suffered a heavy loss by a free-flowing Sweden side, and the Spaniards fielded a much-changed side compared to their opening day defeat. Spain held firm initially but the French class and prowess eventually shone through.
A lovely fluid move from France five minutes in almost produced the game’s first goal. Margot Robinne brought the ball out from defence and found Fanny Gosseye in space. She whipped an inch-perfect cross to the other wing for Arnelia Koutoupot but her first-time shot flew narrowly wide from just outside the penalty area.
Marie Desplanques came off the bench and mustered three shots in as many minutes. It was third time lucky for the forward, stabbing in with the toe of her right foot following a quick break down the left.
Desplanques doubled her account moments later when Robinne found herself with time and space in the middle of the court. The main cog in the French engine room threaded a pass through the eye of a needle for the run of the striker who nipped in front of goalkeeper Thais Farran to tap home.
The Spaniards had a golden chance to bring themselves back into the match but when the ball fell to the feet of Marta Pla five yards out all she could do was poke the ball wide.
The Spanish held firm for the next few minutes but struggled to create anything in the French half of the court, and were made to pay in the 13th minute. A brilliant team move started with Deschamps and Maude Perchey exchanging passes in the centre of the pitch. Deschamps continued forward and was found on the edge of the box by Desplanques, and it proved to be third time lucky for the captain as she drilled the ball under T. Farran with her right foot.
T. Farran then produced a great save following a French counter attack. Sylia Koui and Gosseye played a quick one-two combination to move up the court to present shooting opportunity but T. Farran rushed out to close the angle, and was able to block Koui’s attempt competently.
Robinne tapped home from a yard out off Koutoupot’s cross to put the game beyond doubt with 30 seconds remaining in the first period.
Half Time: Spain 0-4 France
Gosseye tested T. Farran early on with her powerful left foot before playing her part in conjuring up a brilliant team goal. A drilled pass from Deschamps turned Spanish pressure into a French attack, as Koutoupot laid off to Gosseye on the halfway line. She switched the ball to Robinne who looked up to see the advancing Koutoupot ghosting in at the back post and she arrived on time to sneak the ball past T. Farran.
Robinne and Deschamps combined once more to provide Robinne with her second tap in of the day and her third of the tournament. A Koui rebound put Les Bleus in seventh heaven as the Spanish started to tire, and she added another rebound a minute later as the French piled the misery on their neighbours.
France sat back for a few minutes, inviting the Spaniards to push on but again the home team failed to threaten Gaelle Bisson’s goal. Koutoupot netted her brace with a firm right-footed drive with her right foot from 20 yards out to put the French within one goal of double-figures.
Gosseye set up Desplanques for to pass the ball into the net from the left side of the penalty area for her third and she added another from exactly the same position moments later, finishing off Robinne’s low cross. Gosseye then grabbed another goal of her own, teasing the Spanish defenders as she twisted and turned away from them on the edge of the box before spinning and slotting the ball beyond the keeper.
For France’s 13th and 14th goals it was the combination of Robinne and Gosseye paying dividends, with the former awarded time and space in the box from Gosseye’s cutback on the right wing. The French number 8 sent the ball past T. Farran with ease before the two swapped roles for Gosseye to claim her second of the game.
And Robinne continued to show no mercy. Her fourth goal of the match was an embarrassing moment for T. Farran, who up until this point had performed admirably in the face of the French onslaught. Robinne’s long range shot went straight through the keeper’s legs before Gosseye’s hat-trick completed the scoring in a crucial win that puts France back in contention for success at the IFA Women’s Futsal World Cup.
Full Time: Spain 0-16 France
Spain: 1-Alba Valencia (GK), 2- Tania Garcia, 3- Ana Melero, 4- Marta Pla, 6- Andrea Agudo, 7- Marta Enrich (C), 9- Noemi Pino, 10- Núria Farrán, 11- Ana Melero, 13, Ivette Agell, 15- Thais Farrán, 23- Cristina Quevedo
MVP: Ana Melero. It is not often a defender on a team that conceded 16 goals can be the team's best player but Melero's effort and no-nonsense style of defending ensured the home side did not concede even more. She never gave up.
France: 16-Gaelle Bisson (GK), 3- Fanny Gosseye, 4- Sylia Koui, 6- Maude Perchey, 7- Arnelia Koutoupot, 8- Margot Robinne, 9- Marie Desplanques, 10- Mylene Deschamps (C)
MVP: Fanny Gosseye. A number of the French players could have taken this award today but Gosseye stood out for her all-round contribution in defence, midfield and attacking areas. She was strong in the tackle and clever in possession, as evidenced by her three assists and on to of that she grabbed a hat-trick. She was full of energy throughout the game despite picking up an ankle injury.