Video from the match against Soyaux with highlights and interviews with Patrice Lair, Amel Majri, Louisa Necib and Corine Petit.
ASJ Soyaux 0-5 Olympique Lyonnais
Goals by Lara Dickenmann, Laëtitia Tonazzi, Camille Abily, Eugénie Le Sommer and Saki Kumagai.
Plaza’s fondest memory “is coming, my first title with OL”
Interview by Meyline Tarlet for VAVEL
What do you think of your season so far with OL? Your integration? Is the appointment of a new coach going to change anything for you?
I’m pretty happy with my progress, but some minor injuries have tarnished the picture somewhat. I am very well integrated in a group that works well together and with whom it is very pleasant to evolve. The appointment of a new coach will obviously change things but for me the goals are the same, to prove myself and earn my place in the team.
Would you ever try your luck abroad? Which championship(s) interest you?
It is possible but not in the short term. Experience in the United States tempts me a lot, but the list is long!
Do you have an agent? If so, what is their role? What do they help you with?
I have an agent who helps me a lot in managing my federal contract. In terms of communication, I must confess that I prefer to have some freedoms. This is someone competent who knows his job and knows to enlighten me on some obscure points in the professional world.
Are you for a reform of the league with a play-off system? Or the same as the Champions League with a system of round-robin matches?
I think that would actually be a good thing for the biggest clubs in the French league. However, it would probably be to the detriment of other clubs. The round-robin system seems like a good idea, it would have a real perfume of Champions League!
Are you invested in an organization or a project for the OL Foundation? What is your role?
No, but I regularly conduct activities with them, For example, I went to a primary school to talk about violence and gender equality in sport. I would say that as players we need to convey some basic moral values in sport or in society in general .
Do you feel fundamentally feminist? What are your role models?
I am above all for gender equality and it works in both directions. I have a deep respect for all those men and women, politicians, philosophers, sociologists (etc.) that despite their minority, had the courage to express their ideas and claims in difficult contexts. That said the first person that comes to mind is Simone Veil.
What do you think of the appointment of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem to the Minister of Sports, who is also in charge of the Ministry of Women’s Rights?
Happy of course because it is a very competent person and whose beliefs are close to mine. I’m pretty confident in the future of women in society when it is entrusted to someone as committed as Najat Vallaud-Belkacem .
Does it upset you that you often have to talk about your physique?
Well, I do not get reminded so often, but it’s true that in general I prefer to talk about the football.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I have breakfast at 8:30 am (mandatory) before going to training, then I have lunch before tackling a long afternoon of work (on my thesis), I have dinner in front of Le Petit Journal (a French TV show) and then I go to bed at 10 pm. I need a lot of sleep to be efficient in the day!
What is the worst nickname that your teammates have given you?
None! Here as elsewhere they call me “Mel”.
What is the worst fan gift?
I have received nothing but nice gifts, the latest being a huge piece of white chocolate, decorated with my picture for Easter!
Who of your teammates is the most physical during matches?
I’ll say Elise (Bussaglia) or Eugénie (Le Sommer), but each in their own way.
Which teammate is the most fair play?
Do you have a pre-game routine? Any superstituous objects?
No, I prefer to avoid superstition, I do not want to be trapped in such beliefs.
Which teammate would you go on vacation with?
This is a question I’ve never asked myself!! Perhaps Lara Dickenmann.
The last movie you saw ?
Les yeux jaunes des crocodiles (adaptation of a book I read) .
The last book you read?
I must say that I am finding it more and more difficult to find time to read anything other than scientific articles, but at the moment I’m reading “Fall of Giants ” by Ken Follet .
Remember your best football-related memory?
It is coming, my first title with OL!
Lyon dominate in Soyaux
The match had barely begun before Lara Dickenmann scored the first goal for OL Féminin. Before the 10 minute mark, Laëtitia Tonazzi doubled the scoreline, and just two minutes later Camille Abily also found the back of the net. Despite heavy domination from les lyonnaises, they did not capitalize on their chances during the rest of the game aside from two penalties which were scored by Eugénie Le Sommer and Saki Kumagai, but with an eight hour bus ride to the match, that may be understandable.
Lyon’s next match is in three weeks, when they will once again travel to Soyaux for the Coupe de France semifinals. If it is anything like today’s fixture, Lyon will have won themselves a spot in the final where they will face the winner of FCF Juvisy vs Paris Saint-Germain.
Lineup: Bouhaddi – Franco, Kumagai, Renard, Majri (Plaza 51’) – Henry, Abily, Necib (Bussagalia 65’) – Le Sommer, Tonazzi (Thomis 46’), Dickenmann
Goals: Dickenmann (2’), Tonazzi (9’), Abily (11’), Le Sommer (37’ pen.), Kumagai (71’ pen.)
Eugénie Le Sommer
2014-04-13 - Olympique Lyonnais vs. Montpellier HSC
© Sophie Durieux for pitchsidereport.com
Outtakes from the Olympique Lyonnais vs. Montpellier HSC photo set on Pitchside Report
Dickenmann: Qualifying would be a dream
“Being able to travel through time”, was the answer Lara Dickenmann posted on her website when asked which superpower she would most like to have. And were this not beyond the realm of possibility, the midfielder’s first port of call would probably be this time next year, to see whether her country had qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.
The Swiss are not currently in danger of missing out on women’s football’s flagship event, however, and remain firmly on course to qualify for their first-ever Women’s World Cup in North America next summer. In fact, the Eidgenossen are yet to lose a match in their qualifying campaign and occupy pole position in Group 3 after six matches. Their progress might have surprised many, but Dickenmann believes several key factors easily explain her country’s recent success.
“We have a very good coach and fantastic staff at our disposal,” Dickenmann explained in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com. ”Our previous coach was also very good, but now we have someone at the helm with international experience, great knowledge of the game and who has that German mentality. We can really go places with Martina Voss-Tecklenburg in charge.”
“The training centre we’ve had in Huttwil since 2004 is also of paramount importance. Lots of the good players who were developed there are now part of the national team set-up. We also have a lot of players who went to play overseas at a young age, where they train and play at a very high level on a daily basis.”
Dickenmann is one of those players who ventured abroad at an early age, the midfielder crossing the Atlantic in 2006 to play for USA side New Jersey Wildcats before later joining Jersey Sky Blue and Ohio State Buckeyes. The 28-year-old signed for French giants Lyon in October 2008 and has since helped the club to an impressive trophy haul of five league titles, two Cups and two UEFA Women’s Champions Leagues.
Leadership qualities honed at Lyon
Dickenmann has also put in some wonderful performances in the red of the Nati, including her all-important equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Denmark and an impressive hat-trick in the 11-0 demolition of Malta propelling the Swiss towards their maiden Women’s World Cup appearance.
“I’ve gained a lot of important experience from playing my club football at Olympique Lyon,” said Dickenmann. “Winning prestigious titles such as the Champions League gives you a lot of self-confidence. The path to such titles is very specific, but it’s a path you can learn to navigate. I want to pass this experience onto the Swiss national team now.
“There are three or four key players who automatically step up to the plate for Switzerland. I didn’t use to find that so easy. Now I have a much greater awareness of what I can say and how I can react in certain situations. The hierarchy that we now have in the Nati is very good. My role came about quite automatically. I don’t have to adapt in any way and I’m happy about that.”
Dickenmann’s leadership qualities will certainly be in great demand in the coming months as Switzerland look to maintain their lead in Group 3 and book their place at the Women’s World Cup finals at the expense of their competitors.
'We still have a long way to go'
“The next crucial fixture is against Iceland (on 8 May) and we’ll need to be just as well prepared as we were against Denmark,” Dickenmann said confidently. “It’ll be a tough match, but it’s one that we naturally want to win as the home team. We’d also hoped to secure three points against the Danes, though I think that we can live with the 1-1 draw.
"Now we want to get back to winning ways. I always take one game at a time and the next match is always the most important. We’re now all back on club duty and I’m just hoping that we don’t pick up any injuries. We’ll prepare ourselves well and we’ll go into the match with the best possible chance of picking up all three points.”
Boarding the plane to next summer’s finals in Canada would be “an absolute dream come true” for Dickenmann, but the midfielder is well aware of the size of task facing the Swiss in the remainder of their qualifying campaign. Nevertheless, she remains convinced that the Nati have the potential to compete with the top nations in women’s football in the near future.
“There’s definitely still a long way to go in Switzerland,” Dickenmann explained. “It’s important that we manage to qualify for a major tournament this time around. We’re still about five years behind countries like France when it comes to football. The French national team frequently play in front of crowds of around 15,000 spectators. That didn’t use to be the case, but they regularly qualified for the major tournaments and picked up good results. This progress served to increase the interest in women’s football and that’s important.
“We know that the first step for us must be to qualify for a major tournament. Perhaps such a positive development will increase the interest in women’s football in Switzerland. These things don’t just happen overnight. For now we’ll just try to make it to the World Cup and to continue down that path. And who knows? Maybe we’ll end up being one of the regulars at the finals. That’d certainly change a few things.”
Olympique Lyonnais 6-0 Montpellier HSC
Goals by Louisa Nécib, Jennifer Beattie (o.g.), Eugénie Le Sommer, Elodie Thomis and Camille Abily
Behind the scenes of the April chat with Louisa Necib, Wendie Renard and Elodie Thomis.
To read some of the questions and their answers in English, click here.
Eugénie Le Sommer, Sarah Bouhaddi and Camille Abily with next season’s OL jersey.
Photo from Camille Abily.
Lyon qualify for cup semifinals with 6-0 win
Just days after the announcement that head coach Patrice Lair will leave the club at the end of the season, the OL Féminin players clearly decided to pay tribute to their coach as they defeated Montpellier HSC 6-0 in the cup quarterfinals. Louisa Necib opened the scoring early in the first half assisted by Camille Abily, before an own goal from Jennifer Beattie made the half time score 2-0.
In the second half, Eugénie Le Sommer capitalized within the first minute to add to her team’s lead, before Elodie Thomis scored a brace. Camille Abily concluded the scoring in the 66th minute when she placed 6-0 in the back of the net. Lyon will play ASJ Soyaux-Charente, who narrowly defeated FC Vendenheim 3-2 earlier today, in the semifinals on May 11.
Lineup: Bouhaddi – Franco, Kumagai, Renard, Dickenmann (Majri 55’) – Bussaglia (Plaza 66’), Henry, Abily – Thomis (Tonazzi 62’), Le Sommer, Necib.
Goals: Necib (11’), Beattie o.g. (26’), Le Sommer (46’), Thomis (52’, 62’), Abily (66’).
Statistics: 17 shots (11 on target) for OL; 12 shots (1 on target) for MHSC.