Les Bleues qualified for the Olympics quarter-finals for the third time in a row. They passed this milestone in 2012 (2) and 2016 (4).
In order not to fall behind Canada at the point average and risk becoming third worst – and eliminated first – depending on the outcome of the last game of the day, Australia, Puerto Rico and France had to beat the US, or at the very least lose less than 14 points.
To anyone watching the Olympics from afar, a reasonable defeat would have seemed a very complicated goal because the Americans, who have won gold medals six times, crushed the previous editions (averaging 37.2 points in Rio). But this version of the United States is less authoritarian. What showed the first two matches (+9 against Nigeria and +17 against Japan) and what was confirmed by the Blue who went ahead against them in the 32nd minute (72-71).
Relatively well (22 passes for 11 stray balls), the French were not afraid for a long time. Admittedly, they found themselves at -10-5 minutes from the end (77-87), but they showed enough composure, especially on the rebound (9 offensive catches to 2), to control that gap. The Americans, who dominated operations in the second quarter (from 22-19 to 44-50), did not play the last possession that could have taken them to … +14 (93-82).
« He must have surprised people to see us so happy when we lost.”And Eliana Robert, whose excellent performance in the first half (9 points against 4/5) made up for two quick errors, Sandrine Groda (from the second minute) and Helena Siak (7). Borg’s young interior was one of nine Blues to have played more than 10 minutes, which is an interesting distribution.
Discount in well-known neighborhoods on Monday afternoon
In the quarter-finals, the French team, which will be placed in the second draw of the draw (Monday afternoon in France), will not be able to find the USA team. So they will oppose either Spain (unbeaten exit from Group A), or the winner from Belgium and China. It’s clearly a very tough match, given that Blue hasn’t given Saïtama great guarantees of calm yet, but as no opponent appears as an unbeatable ghoul.
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