REUTERS - Speedy forward Eugenie Le Sommer struck with a superb long-range goal in the first half to set up a 1-0 victory for France over England in their Group F Women's World Cup opener in Moncton on Tuesday.
Le Sommer, the French League's top player, took advantage of a defensive mix-up by Katie Chapman and Laura Bassett and fired in a thunderous shot from the edge of the area in the 29th minute.
England struggled to create chances in wet and windy conditions while Les Bleues, who finished fourth at both the 2011 World Cup and 2012 London Olympics, posed a continual threat with Le Sommer leading the way.
England's best scoring opportunity came late in the first half when France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi misjudged a cross by Alex Scott but midfielder Chapman's attempted lob sailed wide.
France, ranked third in the world, will next play Columbia while sixth-ranked England take on Mexico in Moncton on Saturday.