Holders England boost Euro 2025 qualification hopes with France win


Reigning champions England took revenge over group leaders France and revived their hopes of an automatic place in the women's Euro 2025 finals with a 2-1 away win in a qualifier on Tuesday.

Beaten 2-1 in Newcastle on Friday, a result that dropped England to third in group A3, the Lionesses meant business from the start at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard as they chased a first win in France since 1973.

Georgia Stanway, laid on by Lauren Hemp, fired home an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box in the 21st minute and Alessia Russo made it 2-0 in the 34th with a bouncing header after another great cross from Hemp.

Kadidiatou Diani marked her 100th cap by pulling one back from the penalty spot after captain Leah Williamson tripped Grace Geyoro in the area.

The defeat was a first at home in 20 competitive matches for the hosts, a run dating to the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals when they lost to the United States.

France stayed top on nine points from four games, with Sweden second on goal difference but tied with England on seven points.

The top two in the groups go through directly to next year's championship in Switzerland. The remaining seven spots will be decided by two rounds of playoffs later this year.

Ireland remain bottom of the group with no points so far after losing 1-0 in Sweden. England host Ireland on July 12 and play Sweden away four days later in their final group game.

"Of course it gives a boost," England coach Sarina Wiegman told ITV. "You want to win and we are in a better position now.

"The group is totally open. We said from the beginning this is a really tough group with top, top level teams and that's exactly what you see.

"It helps when you win, but most of all we did better than Friday."

England started the match unchanged apart from goalkeeper Hannah Hampton replacing Mary Earps, who sustained a minor hip injury last week.

"I think the first half was one of the best halves we've ever played," said Wiegman.

Hampton made the save of the match on 90 minutes when she dived to get a hand on a shot from Marie Antoinette Katoto and pushed the ball around the post.

France, revitalised in the second half and coming back strongly, had left back Selma Bacha carried off in stoppage time after a clash with Chloe Kelly.

"Of course you know the second half is going to be different because you're 2-0 up and they are going to push but we worked so hard to stay together and keep the win," added Wiegman.

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