France go in search of Euro 2022 quarter-final spot on Bastille Day

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France will look to book their place in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals when they meet Belgium at the New York Stadium.

Les Bleues put themselves in prime position in Group D with a statement 5-1 win over Italy on Sunday and victory over Belgium, who drew with Iceland in their opener, will seal their passage to the last eight.

Italy will have to come up with a response after that drubbing and face Iceland at Manchester City Academy Stadium.

Here, the PA news agency looks ahead to Thursday’s games after another action-packed night on Wednesday saw the Netherlands register their first win.

The Italian job

Italy’s tournament could not have got off to a worse start after their battering from France in Sunday’s opener.

That has left Le Azzurre knowing they have to beat Iceland to take their fate to the final game – a defeat sees them eliminated.

Italy head coach Milena Bertolini told “We need to be angry, take the right approach and show a willingness to respond. Our tournament starts now.”

Five-star France go again

France looked imperious as they blitzed Italy with five first-half goals in Rotherham and now they can secure their spot in the last eight if they get past Belgium.

It would be a fitting treat for their country on Bastille Day and they will hope to send out another message of intent to the other contenders in the tournament.

Belgium will not be rabbits in the headlights but know they will have to improve from their opening draw with Iceland.

Netherlands up and running

Netherlands, who won the 2017 edition of the tournament, came through an enthralling battle with Portugal in Leigh to put themselves top of Group C. An emphatic night looked on the cards as they surged into a 2-0 first-half lead through Damaris Egurrola and Stefanie van der Gragt headers.

But Carole Costa’s penalty, which came after VAR intervention, before the break got Portugal back in it and then Diana Silva stunned the Dutch by levelling.

Van de Donk had the final say, though, scoring a goal that was fitting of winning an entertaining game as she curled into the top corner from the edge of the box. A point in their final game against Switzerland will guarantee progress while Portugal have to win against Sweden.

Post of the day

Picture of the day

Holland's Damaris Egurrola, left and Portugal’s Ana Borges battle for the ball during their Group C match
The Netherlands’ Damaris Egurrola, left, and Portugal’s Ana Borges battle for the ball during their Group C match (Nick Potts/PA)

Quote of the day

Up next

July 14

Group D: Italy v Iceland (5pm, Manchester City Academy)
Group D: France v Belgium (8pm, New York Stadium)

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