England give EURO qualification hopes a major boost with victory in France

England give EURO qualification hopes a major boost with victory in France

England have given their chances of qualifying for UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 a major boost with a 2-1 victory over France in Saint-Étienne this evening.

After taking four points from their first three group games, The Lionesses were playing catch up, however, tonight’s result breathes life into their bid to qualify automatically for next year’s tournament.

France were victorious in the reverse fixture in Newcastle on Friday night but it was England who started this evening’s meeting on the front-foot. Alessia Russo went close to scoring early on when she got on the end of a Beth Mead cross. Mead then took aim for goal herself but was denied by home keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.

Midway through the first half, England made the breakthrough. Lauren Hemp played the ball to Georgia Stanway on the edge of the box and she unleashed a rocket of a shot which flew into the net.

Russo was then superbly denied by Peyraud-Magnin but the Arsenal forward soon got the better of the French keeper. Lucy Bronze played a ball to the back post and Russo was their to head home from six yards to put England 2-0 up.

At the end of a thrilling first 45 minutes, Stanway almost netted a replica of her goal but this time, she fired narrowly wide. Marie-Antoinette Katoto was then presented with a great chance at the other end but she somehow headed wide with the goal at her mercy.

France couldn’t have been any worse in the second half and as expected, they came out with more attacking energy and were able to carve out a couple of good chances. Katoto headed over following a cross from the left before Selma Bacha saw a powerful strike fly wide across goal.

In the 70th minute, France were handed a lifeline when Leah Williamson caught Grace Geyoro in the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Kadidiatou Diani stepped up to take the penalty and she successfully converted from 12 yards.

France threw everything at England in the final 20 minutes as they searched for an equaliser. Bronze almost put through her own net at the death but Hannah Hampton came to the rescue as The Lionesses held out to secure a 2-1 win which reignites their automatic qualification hopes.

England’s UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 qualification campaign resumes in July when they face the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in their final two group matches.