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Shaw sent off as Jamaica hold France to scoreless draw

Manchester City striker Khadija Shaw was sent off late on as Jamaica held fifth-ranked France to a goalless draw on Sunday in Sydney at the Women’s World Cup.

France were widely expected to advance to the last 16 as Group F winners but after this stalemate to open their title bid that is now in doubt.

Jamaica produced a stirring rearguard action to repel waves of second-half attacks and frustrate the French.

Played in front of 39,045 fans at a wet Sydney Football Stadium, it was a physical and free-flowing affair with three players booked and Shaw shown a red card in the dying minutes for a second silly tackle.

The French dominated possession and created plenty of opportunities, with Kadidiatou Diani almost breaking the deadlock in the 88th minute when her header clattered off the bar.

But they were ultimately undone by poor finishing and the courage of a side ranked 38 places below them, spelling a disappointing start for a fancied French team.

It was an admirable effort by Jamaica at only their second World Cup, having lost all three games at the 2019 edition, and they celebrated at the end as if they had won.

France were hampered by injuries and kicked off without regular defenders Elisa De Almeida and Selma Bacha, who were ruled out but are expected to be fit to play Brazil on July 29. Panama are also in the group.

Estelle Cascarino and Sakina Karchaoui lined up at the back instead, with Maelle Lakrar and veteran captain Wendie Renard to deal with the danger posed by the powerful Shaw, who scored 31 goals in 30 games for City last season.

The Reggae Girlz started positively with Renard and Shaw needing treatment for an early clash of heads in a feisty opening.

Both recovered with Jamaica the better side in the opening 20 minutes, throwing players forward and forcing France into some frantic defending.

Shaw was a constant nuisance and France striker Clara Mateo was booked in the 13th minute for hacking her down.

Despite their early pressure Jamaica had few clear-cut chances and it was France who nearly opened the scoring when Mateo found Diani in the box. 

Her shot hit the target but Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer turned it behind for a corner.

Shaw also went close with a blistering strike from a free-kick — Jamaica’s best effort of a first-half which France finished strongly and saw Shaw and teammate Atlanta Primus also go in the referee’s book.

France were a different team in the second half as rain swept down, dominating possession and finding more space to launch attacks, constantly threatening as the pace picked up.

They had a hatful of chances with countless goalmouth scambles. But Jamaica valiantly held on for a deserved draw.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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