International Week in Review
Fifteen players from Paris Saint-Germain's women's team joined up with their respective national teams during the international week. Here's the lowdown.
ELISA DE ALMEIDA / SAKINA KARCHAOUI / GRACE GEYORO / MARIE-ANTOINETTE KATOTO - FRANCE
The French women's team, featuring Elisa De Almeida, Sakina Karchaoui, Grace Geyoro and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, took advantage of the international week to book their place in the final four of the UEFA Women's Nations League. They did so by clinching a 3-0 victory over Austria at Roazhon Park in Rennes on Friday, followed by a 1-0 win over Portugal four days later at the Estadio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa in Leiria. The first three started the first match, while Katoto, who came on at half-time, made the most of her opportunity by rounding out the scoring.
Karchaoui was back in the starting XI for the second match, and even wore the captain's armband for Les Bleues before giving up her place at the end of the first half. Geyoro came on in the 70th minute and scored the winner for Les Bleues in injury time. As a result, Hervé Renard's charges finish top of League A's Group 2 with 16 points from six matches, ahead of Austria (ten points), Norway (five points) and Portugal (three points).
JACKIE GROENEN / LIEKE MARTENS - NETHERLANDS
The Netherlands women's team, featuring Parisians Jackie Groenen and Lieke Martens, are also heading for the Nations League finals. During the international week, the Leeuwinnen Oranje lost 3-2 to England on Friday at London's Wembley Stadium before beating Belgium 4-0 four days later at the Koning Willem II Stadion in Tilburg, a comprehensive victory that sees Andries Jonker's side qualify for the next round alongside Les Bleues, Germany and Spain. The final four will take place from 21 to 28 February 2024, with the draw for the semi-finals taking place on Monday 11 December, and the finalists will qualify for the Paris 2024 Women's Olympic Football Tournament (if France, who qualify automatically as the Olympics' host nation, qualify for the final, the last ticket will go to the team that wins the match for third place).
Groenen played the first half of the first match, while Martens played both matches in their entirety. The Dutch thus finish this group phase in pole position in League A's Group 1 with 12 points from six matches, thanks to a better goal difference than the English (+8 against +7), and ahead of the Belgians (eight points) and Scotland (two points).
AMALIE VANGSGAARD - DENMARK
Despite being in an ideal position to qualify for the Nations League final four ahead of this international week, Paris Saint-Germain striker Amalie Vangsgaard's Danish women's team were beaten 3-0 by Germany at the Ostseestadion in Rostock on Friday. The Rod-Hvides were beaten 1-0 by Iceland four days later at the Viborg Stadion, with the Parisian played both matches in their entirety. Not good enough for a place in the final phase, then, as Andrée Jeglertz's side finished second in League A's Group 3 with 12 points from six games, one point behind the Germans and ahead of the Icelanders (nine points) and Wales (one point).
VIOLA CALLIGARIS / RAMONA BACHMANN - SWITZERLAND
The Swiss women's team, featuring Parisians Viola Calligaris and Ramona Bachmann, also had two Nations League matches on the programme during the international week. The Nati lost twice, 1-0 to Sweden at the Luzern Arena in Lucerne on Friday and then 3-0 to Italy four days later at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma. Calligaris played the whole of the second match, while Bachmann took part in the first 89 minutes of the first match before playing the whole of the second. The two disappointing results meant relegation to League B for Inka Grings' players, who finish fourth in League A's Group 4 with three points from six matches, behind Spain (15 points), Italy (ten points) and Sweden (seven points).
KATARZYNA KIEDRZYNEK - POLAND
Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek's Polish women's team also played two Nations League matches during the international week, and took advantage of the opportunity to confirm their promotion to League A. The Bialo-Czerwoni won 1-0 against Ukraine in Stalowa Wola on Friday and then 2-0 against Greece four days later in Sosnowiec, games in which the capital club's last line of defence did not play. These two victories ensured that Nina Patalon's side finished top of League B's Group 3 with 16 points from six matches, six points ahead of Serbia (ten points), the Ukrainians (six points) and the Greeks (three points).
CLARE HUNT - AUSTRALIA
A friendly double-header with Canada was on the menu for the Australian women's team of Parisian Clare Hunt during the international week, with two defeats to show for it. The Matildas lost 5-0 at Victoria's Starlight Stadium on Friday and then 1-0 four days later at Vancouver's BC Place Stadium. The Parisian was left on the bench for the first match, but played the entirety of the second match.
KORBIN ALBERT - UNITED STATES
The United States women's team, featuring Parisian Korbin Albert in the first call-up of her career, also took part in a friendly double-header - with China - during the international week, winning both games. The Stars and Stripes won 3-0 at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, then 2-1 three days later at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. After sitting on the bench in the first match, the Rouge et Bleu came on as a substitute in the second, a fitting way for her to celebrate her first cap for the USA.
JADE LE GUILLY / THINIBA SAMOURA / LAURINA FAZER - FRANCE U23
Two friendly matches were also on the menu for the French U23 team of Parisians Jade Le Guilly, Thiniba Samoura and Laurina Fazer during the international week, resulting in two defeats. Les Bleuettes lost 1-0 to England at the Parc des Sports Nelson Mandela in Montmorency on Thursday, with all three Rouge et Bleus playing the full match, and then 4-2 to Norway four days later at the Estadio Doutor Américo Couto in Mealhada, Portugal. Captain against England, Fazer wore the armband again against the Norwegians before giving way in the final quarter of an hour, while Le Guilly came on at half-time. It should be noted that U23 regular Samoura, called up to the French national team for the first time in her career between the two matches due to a number of withdrawals, marked her first call-up to the senior squad without taking the field in Les Bleues' victory over Portugal.