Captain Wendie Renard scored an 83rd-minute winner to gift France a crucial 2-1 win over Brazil here on Saturday at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
With the win, France temporeraly tops Group F with four points ahead of the later game between Jamaica and Panama in Perth.
In front of a raucous 49,378 crowd at Brisbane Stadium, France entered under pressure after being held to a goalless draw by Jamaica in their opener, while Brazil made an early statement in a 4-0 thrashing of Panama.
But France boasted six wins from their last seven matches against Brazil.
In a frenetic start, both teams came out aggressive as they went toe-to-toe.
But France settled and controlled possession and their patience was rewarded in the 17th minute when a high ball into the box was headed by Kadidiatou Diani to Eugenie Le Sommer, who angled a header into the net.
Having never won a World Cup game after trailing, Brazil had their backs against the wall but they almost equalised in the 23rd minute when Adriana da Silva missed a close-range attempt in the box.
Adriana continued to look dangerous as she went on several penetrating runs, but Brazil’s vaunted slick passing was mostly stymied by a disciplined France.
Brazil played with more intent after half-time, but had to struggle for a clear opportunity until the 58th minute when Debinha de Oliveira capitalised on a chain of neat possession to rifle home the equaliser.
But Renard stepped up to restore France’s lead as Brazil turned to the legendary Marta da Silva, who sprang off the bench but could not muster any late heroics.