France have cruised through to the Canada 2014 quarter-finals as Group D winners and sent opponents Paraguay crashing out after a comfortable 3-0 win in Edmonton. The game was effectively over within seven minutes as Les Bleuettes - who knew their place in the last eight was all but assured - raced into a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from the lively Faustine Robert.
Knowing that his side would need to lose heavily and see New Zealand thrash Costa Rica to miss out, Gilles Eyquem had rung the changes, introducing a raft of his squad's fringe players to the starting line-up. There was nothing, however, to suggest that this was a weakened or unfamiliar French XI during the early exchanges as they dominated completely.
Robert, who had started and scored in her team's opener against Costa Rica only to drop out against New Zealand, had returned with a point to prove - and wasted little time in making her mark. With just five minutes played, she was given the chance to give France the lead when Rosalia Godoy was penalised for a handball. The winger's resultant spot kick was hard and low, though by no means perfect, and while Cristina Recalde guessed right and was able to get a hand to the ball, she proved unable keep it out.
A couple of minutes later, Robert was celebrating again, and this time the goal arose as a clear result of a goalkeeping error. Recalde proved unable to hold a fairly tame Griedge Mbock Bathy header, and France's No17 capitalised clinically on the fumble, racing in to volley home an opportunistic second.
France continued to dominate, and the remainder of the first half saw Paraguay's keeper redeem herself with a couple of excellent saves, first with her legs to deny Ouleymata Sarr and then parrying agilely clear from Clarisse Le Bihan's flying volley.
Le Bihan had scored twice after coming off the bench against New Zealand and she had the chance to add to her tournament tally early in the second half. Although the Paraguay defence parted to allow her a clear run on goal, the youngster's shot lacked power or conviction and slipped harmlessly wide of the far post.
Eyquem's side were making a habit of missing such chances by this stage and Fanny Hoarau also found herself among the guilty parties, volleying wastefully wide after robbing Jennifer Mora on the edge of the Paraguay box. But with France still evidently the superior team in all departments, it always seemed only a matter of time before they rippled the net again.
Sure enough, with 13 minutes remaining, two of the team's star substitutes combined for a well-crafted third. Claire Lavogez was the goal's architect, threading a superb through ball for Mylaine Tarrieu, who made no mistake, beating the badly positioned Recalde at her near post with a low right-foot shot.
Live Your Goals player of the match: Clarisse Le Bihan (FRA)