Le Tallec downs depleted Tunisia
A brace from Damien Le Tallec in extra time put France through to the quarter-finals, sealing a 3-1 victory over 10-man Tunisia at Changwon Main Stadium on Wednesday 29 August. Les Bleuettes now face Spain, who defeated Korea DPR 3-0 in Ulsan on Saturday.
With neither side able to control the early stages of the game in the pouring rain, France had the best chance after 13 minutes when Le Tallec rounded the Tunisian goalkeeper Habib Tounsi and released a powerful shot into an empty net, only to be denied by a Tunisian defender.
Les Bleuettes finally took the lead two minutes before half-time, and in spectacular style, when Henri Saivet curled home a direct free-kick from 20 metres. The goal was, however, one to forget for Tunisia captain Tounsi, misjudged the direction and could only watch in agony as the ball crossed the line.
The Tunisians were back in the game just four minutes after the interval, with Nour Hadria firing a spectacular drive from 25 metres into the top right hand corner of the net.
France then blew a golden opportunity to turn the game in their favour in the 76th minute, when Mohamed Karoui was sent off for pulling Emmanuel Riviere down in the box. Riviere stepped in to convert the resulting penalty, but his low shot was blocked by Tounsi.
The match went into the extra time and as the rain clouds disappeared, with them went Tunisia's brave resistance. Khaled Ayari did test Abdoulaye Keita with a 30-metre shot, while Le Tallec could have scored when Meher Jaballah failed to clear.
But the Rennes forward soon amends by firing France in front with a superb solo effort in the 99th minute, before making it 3-1 six minutes later, slotting home from close range after collecting a neat through ball from substitute Yann Mvila.