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Lionesses back on track with Euro 2025 Qualification: Summary so far

An excellent performance on Tuesday night against France saw Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses pull themselves back into a favourable position after a mixed qualifying campaign so far. A draw, win, loss and now another win sees the side third in the qualifying group on goal difference, with 2 games to play, chasing automatic qualification.

Looking to defend their title in Switzerland next year, England haven’t had the easiest of starts in what has been a bumpy qualifying campaign for the 2025 European Championships. To automatically qualify for next year’s tournament, England must finish first or second in their group, where they compete again France, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland, or they risk facing two rounds of playoffs. After last nights result against France, England sit third in the group, on level points with second place Sweden, trailing them on goal difference, 2 points behind leaders France. Here’s a look back into their campaign so far.

England 1-1 Sweden

The campaign kicked off at Wembley Stadium infront of 63,000+ fans, in what was due to be a tough tie against the ever-strong Swedes, and that it was. Sweden began strong, with England taking time to settle into their flow; but beginning to pick up, it wasn’t long before England found their opening, midway through the half, as Alessia Russo opened with a low header at close range, pouncing on James’ swerving cross in.

From here they found their attacking flow, stringing together many chances. Sweden were quick and focused on the counter-attack, their familiar style of play, wanting to edge themselves back into the game immediately; Asllani being a key figure for them here, with her pace and technicality a threat to England’s defence.

The second half began on a slower note, with both teams steady to find their flow again, yet about an hour in both teams picked up the pace. England enjoyed the majority of possesion throughout the game, however Sweden were fierce when they pounced on the ball, looking very threatening throughout with intelligent movements putting the English backline to work. They were able to find their break as England switched off at the back, letting Rolfo head home at the back post to equalise. The game tightened as both teams went on to look for a winner, Blackstenius came close for the visitors just minutes from time, but her shot fell wide of the post, with England also having chances as time closed in, however Hemp saw her shot comfortably managed by the Swedish keeper. Both teams settling for a point.

Rep of Ireland 0-2 England

A short trip to Ireland saw Sarina Wiegman’s side get things back under control with a comfortable performance, greatly improved from the tough Sweden game. England opened the scoring early, with Lauren James slicing through a deflected ball in the box to find the back of the net; their early scoring hugely pushed their confidence as the fixture unfolded with England dominating possession throughout.

Alex Greenwood extended the lead from the spot with a penalty kick awarded for a handball in the box. She was clinical in the first, but when the occasion happened again just before the end of the half the post denied England their third. T

hey tried their luck again throughout the second half, but were unable to find the back of the net, despite this, their comfortable lead and settled flow of play meant they saw out the game to secure 3 points. Ireland were chasing the game and posed several attacking threats in the second half, with close chances through the likes of Eileen Gleeson, Leanne Kiernan, Katie McCabe and Caitlin Hayes, however England were defensively settled and confidently kept a clean sheet. A well-needed, deserved victory to get them back on track.

England 1-2 France

This international window saw a double header against France, the first of which was disappointing for England, with the tough fixture seeing them drop points once again, suffering their first defeat in European qualifiers since 2002 on Wiegman’s 50th game in charge of the side.

Ranked 3rd in the world, with many star players throughout their XI, it was no secret that France were going to be a challenging opponent, however England failed to step up to the challenge in the way that they needed to. A contested first half saw England break the deadlock deep into the first half, with Beth Mead picking up Lauren Hemp’s cross within the scramble in the penalty area, remaining composed and beating the keeper by slotting it low. France were threatening throughout the fixture, however responded quickly and formidably with De Almeida having no trouble sending the ball flying past Hampton.

As the half came to a close the fixture became tightly contested, with both teams challenging for the edge, with the second half beginning with the same energy. England began to slip throughout the second half, with Wiegman falling more and more frustrated. France took the edge of the game as Katoto gave Les Blues the lead with a volley that Hampton struggled to save. The Lionesses finished the game with with a lot of work to do to see automatic qualification, a disappointing second half performance to build from.

France 1-2 England

With work to do England showed up as they visited the south of France on Tuesday night, they began with intent to turn around the disappointing result in the reverse fixture.

England had the brighter start of the two sides in what was a continuation of the competitive, contested fixture of a few days before. With a fierce edge to them, they took the lead 20 minutes in, through a glorious Georgia Stanway rocket. A stunning shot to kickstart their dominant performance. Alessia Russo extended the lead not long after that, a classic header from the striker as she pounced on the ball that was sent centrally into the box.

France however, failed to register a shot on target in the first half, as England upset their flow as the Lionesses put some fantastic football on show. Although performing better in the second half, France had limited opportunities and they struggled to break down England’s defensive line and only found their opening through a penalty kick, as Williamson clipped Grace Geyoro, which lead to Katoto slotting home. Into the closing moments, it meant that the fixture tightened, however England welcomed the pressure, remained composed and secured a vital 3 points. A first win in France in 51 years.

These results mean that France stay put at the top of the group on 9 points, with England and Sweden 2 points behind on 7. England trail Sweden down to goal difference, but sit in a much more favourable position and are still in control of their automatic qualification hopes. They play 2 more fixtures against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in July, with first and second placed in the group securing automatic qualification.

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