Crammer shines as France cruise

30 Oct 2008

Pauline Crammer scored the first hat-trick in the history of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup as France moved top of Group C with a resounding 6-2 win over Paraguay at Hamilton‘s Waikato Stadium.

The South American runners-up were simply unable to compete with their European counterparts' superior technique and physique as Gerard Sergent's Bleuettes ran riot. The second half dismissal of Lea Rubio was the only black spot on a day to remember for the French, who moved in front as early as the fifth minute when Marina Makanza unselfishly teed up Crammer for the first of her treble.

Seven minutes later, Crammer struck again with a brilliant solo goal, outpacing Cris Mabel Flores and then skilfully dragging the ball around the goalkeeper before side-footing low into the unguarded net. Only some brave goalkeeping and good luck was preventing the floodgates from opening at this stage but France moved three in front after 17 minutes when Charlotte Poulain shaped to shoot and instead cleverly side-stepped her marker to slam the ball home.

Even at this early stage, Paraguay were down and out, but they did score a goal in first half injury time that was as brilliant as it was unexpected, Jacqueline Gonzalez curling a right-foot free-kick over the wall and in off the junction of post and crossbar.

The second half brought more of the same French dominance, however, with speedy substitute Magine Auris scoring the fourth and then winning the penalty from which Crammer completed her landmark hat-trick. As if that wasn't drama enough, there was even time for two red cards, one for Rubio, one for Paraguay's goalscorer, Gonzalez, and for goals from Camille Catala of France and an injury time consolation from Paola Genes.