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Panama v France: Women’s World Cup 2023 – live | Women’s World Cup 2023

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9 min Bacha will take, but she’ll swing out rather than go for goal, and someone – Pinzon I think – heads clear.

8 min France have settled now, spreading wide to Cascarino who lays infield to Bacha. So Natis nobbles her as she runs away from goal seeking space, and now it’s France with a free-kick, further left of centre but a similar distance away from goal.

7 min Becho nashes down the right, easing away from Jaen and cutting back, but Pinzon is there to block her off, then Bacha thrashes over the top.

5 min But now here come France, Geyoro feeding a ball in behind for Diani who, down the right of the box, takes a touch too many – perhaps – and slices wide of the near post with only the keeper to beat. Her team, who conceded prior to even touching the ball, are awake.

4 min As it stands, France are going out, but a positive result in Brazil v Jamaica would allow them to lose.

3 min Cox has tears in her eyes as she celebrates and how can she not have! There are tears in mine and I’m sat in a dingy box-room!


Cox flings every last fibre of herself into this, exploding into a free-kick that rises high over the near side of the wall, swerves, shrieks and screams high into the top corner of the net, Peyraud Magrin a spectator! That is a simply disgraceful hit, and suddenly we got ourselves a ball-game!

1 min Immediately, Cox burrows forward, but just as she’s about to shoot, Le Garrec trips her. Free-kick Panama, 30 yards out….

1 min Away we go!

Panama are, as you’d expect, set up to try and avoid a hiding. France, though, have players playing for places in the last 16, some trying to hang onto theirs, others trying to liberate them from others.

Anthem time…

And here come our teams…

But what a game it was.

I can’t lie, I’m still shaking from that South Africa v Italy game. So I’m going to take a quick screen-break and leave you with this tribute: a playlist, roughly compiled, of South African bangers.

Panama, meanwhile, bring in Jaen for Castillo at the back, Quintero for Gonzalez at the base of midfield, and up front it’s Montenegro, not Cedeno L.

I said earlier you never know but Hervé Renard reckons he does, making five changes to the team that beat Brazil last time out. At the back, Karchaoui and Renard are replaced by Almeida and Cascarino E (not D, who’s injured); in midfield, Toletti and Dali drop out, with Le Garrec and Becho coming in; and up front, it’s Mateo not Le Sommer.

In Melbourne, Jamaica and Brazil play-off for likely second place behind France. Scott Murray will croon you through that one.


Panama (5-4-1): Bailey; Jaen, Natis, Pinzon, Cedeno, Baltrip-Reyes; Salazar, Tanner, Montenegro, Quintero; Cox. Subs: Fabrega, Cordoba, Castillo, Gonzalez, Riley, Mills, Vargas, Espinosa, Batista, Hernandez, Cedeno, De Obaldia.

France (4-4-2): Peyraud-Magnin; Lakrar, De Almeida, Cascarino, Perisset; Geyoro, Bacha, Le Garrec, Becho; Diani, Mateo. Subs: Durand, Picaud, Renard, Fazer, Toletti, Karchaoui, Le Sommer, Majri, Tounkara, Dali, Asseyi, Feller.


This should be simple: a draw here, and France are through. But if Panama win and Brazil draw with Jamaica, Les Bleus are going home.

That, though, is unlikely because France are serious outfit. They’re missing some serious players – Delphine Cascarino and Marie-Antoinette Katoto – but still have plenty of quality.

Thing is, you never know – just ask Italy. It’s true that Panama don’t have the players South Africa do, but football is a chaotic, brutal activity, so you never know.

Kick-off: 8pm local, 11am BST.

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