France without Bacha, De Almeida for World Cup opener against Jamaica Loop Jamaica

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France train ahead of their opening match against Jamaica

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SYDNEY (AP) — France, considered a top contender at the Women’s World Cup, will be missing two starters in their opening match against Jamaica on Sunday.

Defender Elisa De Almeida sustained a leg injury two days ago in practice and “can’t put her foot down,” coach Herv? Renard said. Forward Selma Bacha, who sprained an ankle in a warm-up game versus Australia on July 14, is also sidelined.

“Now she’s running,” Renard said of Bacha. “But we won’t take any risks.”

Renard was confident Bacha would be available for France’s match against Brazil on July 29, in Brisbane. No. 5-ranked France and No. 8 Brazil are likely to compete for the top spot in Group F, which also includes World Cup first-timer Panama.

Bacha returned to practice on Thursday, the same day De Almeida was injured.

“We’re happy that she’s smiling again,” Renard said of Bacha, who has 17 caps for Les Bleus. “She’s in good shape.”

De Almeida and Bacha are on the World Cup roster for the first time.

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