France 2 Norway 1: Contentious Le Sommer penalty bails out Renard

France moved to the brink of qualification for the knockout phase of the Women's World Cup, beating Norway 2-1 in Nice.

France v Norway

Eugenie Le Sommer's late goal helped France secure a 2 - 1 victory over Norway on Wednesday night in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019.   -  Getty Images

Eugenie Le Sommer's controversial penalty spared Wendie Renard blushes after a calamitous own goal, as Women's World Cup host France beat Norway 2-1 to effectively seal a spot in the knockout phase.

The entertaining contest was unsurprisingly even, after the two sides cruised to wins in their respective opening matches, but France just about did enough to leave itself on the brink of qualification, with Le Sommer's crucial spot-kick the difference.

Although the host nation struggled at times in the first half, it rode the Norway storm and took full advantage right after half-time through the lively Valerie Gauvin.

France 2 - 1 Norway, as it happened

Renard put into her own net soon after, but France remained focused and Le Sommer coolly dispatched a penalty, though Norway was convinced it was harshly penalised after the spot-kick was awarded following a VAR review.

Norway enjoyed a purposeful start and went desperately close in the 14th minute, but Ingrid Syrstad Engen's near-post flick-on at a corner was crucially cleared off the line and over the crossbar by Amel Majri.

France responded and almost found the net through Gauvin soon after, but her back-heel from Kadidiatou Diani did not have enough power to beat Ingrid Hjelmseth.

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Norway finished the half strongest, with Sarah Bouhaddi making a save to deny Ingrid Moe Wold, but France opened the scoring less than a minute after the interval – Gauvin meeting Majri's left-wing cross and firing beneath Hjelmseth.

A calamitous own goal courtesy of Wendie Renard eight minutes later wiped out the lead, however, as the Lyon star tapped into her own net from Isabell Herlovsen's low cross.

But Le Sommer bailed her out 18 minutes from time after Engen was adjudged to have followed through on Marion Torrent, the converted penalty leaving France with six points from two games, almost certainly enough to see them into the next round.

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