rance left it late to beat Iceland as striker Eugenie le Sommer’s penalty won their first Group C game at Women’s Euro 2017 in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
The French, one of the pre-tournament favourites, had looked set to be denied victory by Iceland’s stubborn defence.
Captain Wendie Renard’s header hit the bar, before Le Sommer netted from the spot when Amandine Henry was fouled.
Earlier on Tuesday in Deventer, Austria Women won their first match at a major finals, beating 10-player Switzerland.
Austria captain Nina Burger’s low first-half finish was enough to win their game 1-0, before Rahel Kiwic’s second-half dismissal.
For France – ranked third in the world – their opening win came as a big relief after being denied for 85 minutes by a physical, organised Iceland side ranked 19th in the Fifa women’s rankings.
They had been largely restricted to efforts from long range, before Elin Jensen was adjudged to have impeded Henry in the area, and Lyon star Le Sommer sent the keeper the wrong way.
The Women’s Euros’ first red card since 2009
Austria’s historic win came as Swiss defender Kiwic was shown the first red card at a Women’s Euros since England’s Casey Stoney was shown the only red of Euro 2009.
The Swiss were already trailing to lively striker Burger’s first-time near-post finish for Austria before half-time.
Kiwic then denied Burger a clear attempt on goal, bringing her down just outside the area on the hour mark.
Chelsea forward Ramona Bachmann offered Switzerland’s strongest threat going forward, but her late effort was deflected over the bar.
Austria and Switzerland – who lost to England in friendlies in April and June respectively – were both playing in their first match at a European Championship finals, although the Swiss did feature at the 2015 World Cup.
England and Scotland meet in their Group D opener on Wednesday (19:45 BST).