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The French team: World Cup kicks off today

*Nigeria, Norway also in the group

Hosts France will take on South Korea today as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins in Paris.

The match which will kick off at 8pm Nigerian time will hold at the Parc des Princes, the home ground of Paris Saint Germain. The stadium which opened in 1972, has hosted some of the biggest matches in club and international football.

Both South Korea and hosts France are in Group A along with Nigeria and 1995 champions, Norway, billed to meet on Saturday.

Korea Republic had one of the best defensive records in the entire France 2019 qualifying competition. The Taeguk Warriors conceded just one goal in their eight matches, while scoring 30.

Korean women have the best defences in the run up to Paris

However, the Koreans are not expecting an easy match with France.

Said veteran Ji Soyun: “France are one of the best teams in the world. They’re superior to us in terms of speed and physique, with technically outstanding players as well. The match will be a difficult one, but at the same time playing against such opponents can help take us to a higher level. Besides, we’ve got the fighting spirit of Korean women and that will be our main strength.”

Norway and Nigeria are among the select band of teams never to have missed a single FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Norwegians have played a total of 35 matches in the competition, and the Nigerians 22. In contrast, France have only 14 matches to their name and Korea Republic a mere seven.

When the Super Falcons file out tomorrow, Nigeria forward Desire Oparanozie will be on familiar ground in France, having played for Guingamp since 2014. After joining Paris Saint-Germain earlier in 2018, Norway’s Andrine Hegerberg is also no stranger to France.