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Euros: The story so far

The European Championship Women 2022 group stage is complete and several of the trophy contenders have made impressive progress to the quarter-finals.

(This article was originally published on 19.07.2022)

Tournament hosts England won their three Group A matches by an aggregate score of 14-0 and they are 11/4 to be crowned European champions with Germany 11/4 and France 7/2.


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England 11/4, Germany 11/4, France 7/2, Sweden 5/1, Spain 7/1

England relishing home advantage at Euros

There were a few first-night nerves for England as they kicked off their Group A campaign against Austria in front of a full house at Old Trafford.

Beth Mead's dinked finish over Austrian goalkeeper – and Mead's Arsenal teammate – Manuela Zinsberger gave the Lionesses an early lead but they were unable to cut loose and had to settle for a 1-0 victory.

It was a different story on matchday two as Sarina Wiegman's team produced a devastating first-half performance to lead 6-0 at the break against Norway, who were expected to be their toughest opponents in the group.

Mead was at the heart of the rout, causing all sorts of problems down the right flank, and she completed her hat-trick in the final ten minutes to seal a remarkable 8-0 win in Brighton.

Record goalscorer Ellen White, a Golden Boot hopeful, scored twice in an outstanding display from the hosts but they had to be patient in their final game against Northern Ireland.

Wiegman resisted the temptation to make changes to the starting 11, despite being assured of qualification, and it took a classy finish from Fran Kirby in the 40th minute to break down the underdogs at St Mary's.

Mead took her goal tally for the tournament to five with another fine individual strike and half-time substitute Alessia Russo scored twice in the first eight minutes of the second half as England ran out 5-0 winners.

Northern Ireland, playing in their first major tournament, showed great spirit and defensive grit but there were few positives for Norway to take after their surprise group-stage exit.

With star forward Ada Hegerberg back from injury, the Norwegians were talked up as dangerous outsiders before the tournament but they crashed out after a 1-0 defeat to Austria on matchday three.

A thumping header from Nicole Billa set up a quarter-final against Germany on Thursday (KO 20:00) and Austria are 17/2 to knock out their illustrious neighbours in the 90 minutes.

Tough start leaves Spain facing last-eight pain

England and Spain were jostling for ante-post favouritism at the Euros but the teams will meet in Wednesday's first quarter-final (KO 20:00) after Spain finished as runners-up to Germany in Group B.

La Roja were dealt a huge blow on the eve of the tournament when Barcelona's Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas suffered a serious knee injury in training.

Spain fell behind to 50/1 outsiders Finland in the first minute of their opening game, coming back to win 4-1, but they were outplayed by Germany in a 2-0 defeat at the Brentford Community Stadium and needed a late goal from Marta Cardona to see off Denmark 1-0 on matchday three.

Germany thumped the Danes 4-0 and Finland 3-0 either side of the win over Spain and they look in good shape, especially as Wolfsburg striker Alexandra Popp scored in all three group games.

Popp is 7/2 to score first in the quarter-final against Austria while Spain are 7/1 to lift the trophy and 6/4 to knock out England on Wednesday.

The way they defended against group rivals Germany suggests the Lionesses will get chances and they are 10/11 to win in 90 minutes at the Falmer Stadium.

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France catch the eye with first-half fireworks

Before England's 8-0 drubbing of Norway, the performance of the tournament had come from France, who scored five first-half goals on their way to a 5-1 win over Italy in Group D.

Grace Geyoro led the way for Les Bleues with a hat-trick in their opening game and they should have beaten Belgium by more than a 2-1 margin on matchday two.

In France's final game, with top spot in the group already assured, Melvine Malard broke her duck at the Euros with a goal after just 43 seconds against Iceland, who then scored a penalty in the 12th minute of injury time to pinch a 1-1 draw.

That late drama wasn't enough to take Iceland through as Belgium ended Italy's disappointing tournament with a 1-0 win in Manchester.

The Belgians are 9/1 to upset 3/10 Sweden in 90 minutes in Friday's quarter-final (KO 20:00) as the Swedes are enjoying another impressive run, having reached the 2019 World Cup semi-finals and the final of last summer's Olympic football tournament.

They drew 1-1 with the Netherlands in their first match in Group C and those teams proved far too strong for section rivals Switzerland and Portugal.

Sweden signed off with a 5-0 win over Portugal but the Dutch were less ruthless, winning 3-2 against the Portuguese on matchday two and needing three late goals to see off the Swiss 4-1 in their final game.

The Netherlands, who won the 2017 Euros under now-England boss Wiegman, face a daunting last-eight clash with France on Saturday (KO 20:00) and Les Bleues are 7/10 to beat the 15/4 defending champions in 90 minutes.

All eight of France's goals in the group stage came in the first half and they took the lead in the ninth, sixth and first minutes of their three matches so France-France half-time/full-time could be worth considering at 13/8.

Both teams scored in ten of the 12 matches in Groups C and D. It is 4/6 to be a winning bet in France's clash with the Netherlands and 1/1 to land in the Sweden-Belgium quarter-final.

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