French organizers could not have asked for a better start to the Women's World Cup. "The perfect scenario"
was the way French coach Corinne Diacre described the evening. Despite rain,
wind and cool temperatures -- and long lines to get into the stadium -- the Parc des Princes was filled with a crowd of 45,261 -- almost twice the size of the previous record for a women's
international match in France -- for France's 4-0 win over South Korea. Diacre lived up to her reputation as a task-master by benching center forward Valerie Gauvin at the last minute for being late
for two team meetings, but Les Bleues didn't miss a beat, delighting the crowd with their swashbuckling attack. If getting a nation behind women's soccer is one of the goals of the Women's World Cup,
they succeeded fabulously. The game drew 9.83 million viewers on TF1, or more than 44 percent of Frenchmen watching television. -- Paul Kennedy