Last Sunday, I travelled from Lyon to Montpellier to watch another Division 1 feminine game. It was a top of the table clash between champions league chasing team MHSC and 5th place Soyaux. It has to be said Soyaux season has been fantastic so far and they have just been promoted and to be leading the not big 4 table is a splendid achievement.
I mainly went to the game to watch 2 players Jennifer Beattie the former Arsenal player now at MHSC and Alice Benoit the France U19 international and former U17 captain.
Montpellier have a very friendly and welcoming coaching staff and their banter is great. They try to build a possession based attacking football mixing skills and pace. They had a few players injured for the first game in 2014 : Japanese midfielder Utsugi, Winger Makanza and the Swedish center forward Oqvist.
The game was played under bad conditions on a 3G pitch at the men’s training ground under rain and wind and was tight with Montpellier winning 2-0 with 2 late goals in the last 5 minutes. Full credit to Soyaux who were excellent defensively and threatened to score on the break.
An own goal and an oqvist finish on the break won it for Montpellier and it was very hard for them break a stubborn and resilient Soyaux side. A dreadful referee and assistants did not help either.
A quality game with 2 strong teams and many French senior and youth team players on display. Jennifer did not play much coming on as a late sub at defensive midfield while Alice played 90 excellent minutes in the defensive midfield position as well.