France were held to a 0-0 draw against USA in the China Cup today.
France were held to a 0-0 draw today in their second game of the China Cup when they came up against the USA.
The USA had by far the bulk of the attacking play in Guangzhou but the French backline held firm under a heavy barrage of American pressure.
France played in a 4-4-2 system with their forwards dropping way back and rarely looked inspired to score a goal, but were certainly dead set against conceeding. Laura Georges in particular did a fine job of keeping Abby Wambach quiet.
The French did have some good possession in the match, but aside from a few dangerous counter-attacks, they didn't come close to breaking through the U.S. defence. France had just one shot in the second half, a spinning header that was easily handled by 'keeper Hope Solo.
The U.S. team briefly had visions of a penalty kick in the 79th minute when Wambach was taken down less than a yard outside the penalty area on the right wing. Lilly had scored from that side of the penalty box against Norway, but this chance was from a far steeper angle just 14 yards from goal, and the captain fired her shot over.
The USA’s best chance of the game came in the 84th minute as Wambach flicked a long ball onto Lilly inside the penalty box and the midfielder squeezed past a defender. She shot with her left foot as she fell away from the goal from 12 yards out, but the ball trickled wide, just inches outside the right post.
The USA have now not conceeded a goal from open play for 1,108 minutes, dating back to the end of 2004, but the first draw for the French against the USA in eleven meetings, after ten previous defeats.
France Head Coach Elisabeth Loisel (pictured above), whose side play England in their next World Cup qualifier on March 26 said: “It was an excellent game. Their speed of play and passing was very good but I am very happy with my team and this is an excellent game to learn and progress.”