"When you have an average game and win 5-0, it's a smooth start," said France coach Bruno Bini after four goals in the last 27 minutes sealed an opening Group 4 victory in Israel.
Article top media content
France coach Bruno Bini said the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finalists were "average" as they opened UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying Group 4 with a 5-0 win in Israel.
In their first competitive game since they lost to Sweden in the World Cup third-place play-off in July, Les Bleues were boosted at Nes-Ziona when home captain Oshrat Eni deflected Louisa Necib's corner into her own net after five minutes.
Meir Nachmias's charges then regrouped and offered a fine resistance but were to crumble in the last 27 minutes, with full-back Sonia Bompastor making three of the four goals France scored. Corine Franco, substitutes Camille Abily and Eugénie Le Sommer, and Marie-Laure Delie completed a comfortable victory.
It was not enough, however, to totally delight Bini, whose side reached the quarter-finals of the last European finals. "There were two games in one," he said. "In the first half we were a bit sluggish, we lacked energy and it was a small warning. When Camille and Eugénie came on it brought us more energy. We must note that we had problems in the first half but the second was satisfying with goals. When you have an average game and win 5-0, it's a smooth start."
Bini's team return to action with a crucial trip to the Republic of Ireland next Thursday, while Israel are at home to Scotland on 12 October. The other country in the group, Wales, welcome Ireland on Saturday.