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Three first half goals as Les Blues qualify top for quarterfinals of Euro 2022

France were able to secure the win they needed to win back-to-back games to grab Group D top spot with a game to spare, whilst Belgium look to qualify in second with one game left.

France knew before kick-off that a win would not only seal progress, but also top spot in Group D and the chance to stay here in Rotherham for the quarterfinals.

France started in the same manner as they did against Italy, as it only took them six minutes to open the scoring in Rotherham. Kadidiatou Diani scored the opener as she nodded home Karchaoui cross which she met at the back post. A brief check by VAR for a possible offside but goal was given.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for the French, as in the 17th minute, they suffered a blow when Marie-Antoinette Katoto was forced off with injury and was replaced by Ouleymata Sarr.

Belgium made a breakthrough just after the half hour mark. Tessa Wullaert was able to find Janice Cayman and poking it past Renard her Lyon club-mate.

Belgium couldn’t celebrate for long as France restored their lead just five minutes later. Belgium were unable to clear Mateo’s corner and Griedge Mbock Bathy was able to get infront of her marker and power the header home.

France were able to remain on top in the second half, Evrard reacting well to a sliced Sarr shot before De Neve denied Karchaoui with a timely sliding tackle shortly afterwards.

Belgium were down to ten in the last minutes as Amber Tysiak handled the ball in the box, receiving her second yellow card. France had the chance to make it three, but Evrard denied Renard.

Belgium coach Ives Serneel’s said afterwards "We didn't start well but we did all we could to create chances. Everyone gave it their all and it is a pity the result doesn't reflect that, and we haven't been rewarded for our efforts.”

She continued by saying “France were able to hold out which is what you expect from a high-level team."

France top the group and earn their place in the quarterfinals next Friday, as for Belgium, they’ll have to beat Italy on Monday to qualify for the knockout stages and hope France beat Iceland.

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