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France, Brazil, Jamaica chase World Cup knockout spot

Everything is on the line when Brazil, Jamaica and France return to action at the Women’s World Cup.

As things stand in Group F, France (four points) and Jamaica (four) lead the way ahead of the South American heavyweights (three).

A draw against Brazil at a packed AAMI Park in Melbourne on Wednesday night would be enough to secure progression for the Reggae Girlz.

As for France, they will not be taking anything for granted when they face Panama at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium at the same time (8pm AEST).

“Wins like this are building confidence we need to start the tournament,” Les Bleues midfielder Kenza Dali told reporters after France beat Brazil in their second match, following an opening draw with the Jamaicans.

“We didn’t start it against Jamaica and now it’s up to us to keep going because every team was so competitive,” 

“We’re not going to turn over, we’re not going to think that it’s already done. Nothing is guaranteed.”

France coach, and former Saudi Arabia men’s boss, Herve Renard is already the first person to coach a team to a win at the men’s and women’s World Cups. 

He caught the public’s attention when he blew up on the touchline in the 2-1 win over Brazil. 

Securing progression to the knockout stage will only add to the belief Renard has built among France’s squad.

“He’s someone that’s living football,” Dali said. 

“He is really good at his job and he is so passionate. I love it.

“If you guys could see what he’s saying before games, I’ve never seen that from a coach. He’s giving you the passion. It’s great to have.”

Renard won a legion of admirers with a rousing halftime speech to his Saudi players on their way to a shock win over eventual champions Argentina at last year’s men’s tournament in Qatar.

“He’s exactly like that. What’s funny is that I reposted this video on my Instagram, and now he’s my coach. I love that,” Dali said.

In New Zealand, already-progressed Sweden (six points) will look to finish with a 100 per cent record in Group G with a win over Argentina.

Unless Argentina (one point) spring a mighty upset, Italy (three points) only need to draw with South Africa (one point) to secure progression.

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