International round-up: Win for Dali, draw for Leon
West Ham United stars continued to shine on the international stage on Saturday evening, with Kenza Dali and Adriana Leon both in action in the inaugural Tournoi de France.
Canadian winger Leon, who has been in fine goalscoring form for the Hammers in recent weeks, started for her side as they took on 2019 World Cup finalists and European champions the Netherlands at Stade de l’Épopée in Calais.
Leon played for the first half of the encounter against the side ranked third in the world, coming close to setting up teammate Deanne Rose with an accurate cross which the forward headed wide.
The 27-year-old was one of a number of players substituted at half-time and could only cheer on as Canada – aided by Dutch goalkeeper Lize Kop’s dismissal in the 49th minute – enjoyed the better of the chances in the second period.
The closest they came was when midfielder Jessie Fleming hit the woodwork from a narrow angle with 20 minutes remaining, but having fallen to defeat against France in their opening fixture, Canada would have hoped to capitalise on their numerical advantage.
Their final game will take place on Tuesday against ninth-ranked Brazil at the same venue.
Later on in the evening, midfielder Dali was named in the starting line-up for France against the Brazilians at Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.
Having defeated Leon’s Canada 1-0 in their opening match, Dali’s France went in search of a second win in the competition in front of 17,022 passionate supporters on home soil.
A similarly tight match ensued, but Dali and France once again made the breakthrough early on in the second period, Valérie Gauvin’s goal in the 55th minute enough to secure victory for Les Bleues.
France’s final match of the tournament will see them host the Netherlands on Tuesday, safe in the knowledge that a draw would see them win the competition.
Tournoi de France is a friendly invitational tournament held in Calais and Valenciennes, launched in 2020 by the French Football Federation off the back of the success of last summer’s World Cup finals.
Martha Thomas, meanwhile, was an unused substitute as Scotland bettered Iceland 1-0 in their second Pinatar Cup match.