France suffered a frustrating start to their Fifa Women’s World Cup campaign as they were held to a goalless draw by Jamaica.
Herve Renard’s side could not break down a disciplined Jamaica, for whom star striker Khadija Shaw was sent off in stoppage time.
The Reggae Girlz held on for their first Women’s World Cup point amid heavy rain at Sydney Football Stadium.
The French must now regroup for their meeting with fellow Group F favourites Brazil on 29 July.
France came close to scoring in the first half when Kadidiatou Diani had a near-post drive scooped away by Becky Spencer before a deflected effort which flashed past the post.
Diani twice headed narrowly wide before hitting the crossbar and post late in the second half, but Jamaica were roared on to a draw by the locals and neutrals as the latest smaller nation to impress at these finals.
French optimism dampened in Sydney rain
Having fallen at the quarter-finals in the past three World Cups, this has been pegged as the tournament for France to go deeper.
After the tempestuous Corinne Diacre reign – ended in March when Wendie Renard and several team mates threated not to play at the World Cup at all – good feeling had returned around the French camp under new manager Herve Renard.
Herve Renard, who masterminded Saudi Arabia’s extraordinary win over Argentina at the men’s World Cup, has brought in an attacking 4-3-3 formation to bring the best out of his immensely talented squad.
But they were blunted in Sydney by a Jamaica defence which pressed hard and well, never allowing Diani or Eugenie le Sommer enough time or space to work their magic.
Rising star Selma Bacha – winner of four Champions League titles with Lyon by the age of 22 and very impressive at Euro 2022 – missed this game with injury but should return for the key meeting with Brazil. France cannot get her back soon enough.