France all but secured a place in the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup after striker Valerie Gauvin marked her return with a goal against Norway.
Striker Gauvin did not start the win over South Korea after showing up late for training but scored from a cross.
The celebrations did not last – Wendie Renard finding her own net while trying to put the ball out for a corner.
France sealed victory through Eugenie Le Sommer’s penalty after Marion Torrent was fouled by Ingrid Engen.
Cheered on by a crowd of 34,872 in Nice, hosts France had to dig deep to seal victory.
They top Group A with six points from two games – three ahead of second-placed Norway and third-placed Nigeria – with one group game left against Nigeria on Monday (20:00 BST).
In a high quality game, France were on course to drop points for the first time in the tournament after a calamitous own goal by Renard, who scored two against South Korea.
Attempting to put Isabell Herlovsen’s cross out for a corner, Renard instead found her own net eight minutes after France took the lead at the start of the second half.
Amel Majri’s cross found Gauvin, who got in front of Chelsea’s Maria Thorisdottir to send the partisan crowd into raptures.
Slick and inventive, Norway were certainly not fazed by the occasion.
Yet the 1995 World Cup winners finished with nothing to show for their efforts after a penalty was awarded following a video assistant referee (VAR) review when Torrent was kicked by Ingrid Syrstad Engen.
Le Sommer scored from the spot to save Renard’s blushes – and continue France’s 100% start to the tournament.
More to follow.