Euro 2025 qualifying: England bounce back with crucial win over France

Alessia Russo celebrates with teammates after scoring during the UEFA Women's Euro 2025 qualifying football match between France and England
Alessia Russo celebrates with teammates after scoring during the UEFA Women's Euro 2025 qualifying football match between France and England at Geoffroy Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

Following Friday night’s disappointment at St James’ Park, England bounced back from their defeat against France in the next round of Euro 2025 qualifiers.

After losing 2-1 on home soil, the Lionesses earned a big three points at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne. A stunning strike from Georgia Stanway followed by an Alessia Russo penalty in the first half sealed a crucial win.

Despite a second half threat from France and a penalty of their own courtesy of Kadidiatou Diani, the Group A3 leaders couldn’t avoid defeat.

Starting XIs

France

Peyraud-Magnin; Lakrar, Renard, de Almeida, Henry, Karchaoui, Geyoro, Katoto, Diani, Bacha, Dali

England

Hampton; Bronze, Carter, Walsh, Bright, Williamson, Mead, Stanway, Russo, Toone, Hemp

How it went

After an initially sloppy start from England, Stanway got the action underway. The Bayern Munich star’s rocket strike from the edge of the area gave Sarina Wiegman’s side the lead in the 21st minute.

Less than a quarter of an hour later, Russo made it two to the Lionesses as Pauline Peyraud-Magnin failed to clear the danger inside her box.

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The second half initially brought relatively few chances for both sides, with France dominating much of the play. A penalty conceded by England captain Leah Williamson gave France a perfect route back into the tie. Diani stepped up to take the spot-kick, sending Hannah Hampton the wrong way.

The goal was Les Bleues was enough to leave the Lionesses third in their group, with Sweden remaining second on goal difference. Both sides are level on seven points each, with their meeting in Gothenburg looming next month.

Up next

France will round out their qualifying campaign with their final two games in the group. Hervé Renard’s side will first welcome Sweden to the Stade Gaston-Gérard. The team will then travel to face Ireland for their final game ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games.

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England will hope to retain their title as European Champions with wins over Sweden and Ireland. The Lionesses will host Ireland at Carrow Road before facing Sweden in Gothenburg. Having failed to qualify for the Olympics, England will look to ensure they will be competing in Switzerland next year.

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