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Wasteful France book quarter-final ticket, Italy keeps hope

Wasteful France book quarter-final ticket, Italy keeps hope

France defeated Belgium 2-1 to make it two wins in as many matches to book their spot in the last eight on Thursday night.

All three goals in the game were scored in an entertaining opening 45 minutes, with PSG star, Kadidiatou Diani off the mark in the tournament.

Diani opened the scoring as early as the sixth minute for Les Bleues when she headed home from a Delphine Cascarino’s cross.

She almost made it 2-0 moments later but was denied from point-blank by an excellent Nicky Evrard in goal for Belgium.

Les Bleues expectedly dominated the game from start to finish and could have scored as many ad five goals as they did against Italy in their opening game.

They created 23 chances, had 27 attempts and 59.5% of the possession but failed to make it count as Belgium made them pay.

Against the run of play, the Red Devils equalised through Janice Cayman, who blasted past a helpless Pauline Peyraud-Magnin in goal for France after the half-hour mark.

However, the equaliser lasted just five minutes before France restored their lead via Bathy four minutes before the break.

The second 45 minutes saw France remain the dominant side, creating more chances, including a penalty miss by reliable CB, Wendie Renard as Les Bleues struggled to put the game to bed.

In the end, they held on to seal a second successive win which was enough to see them through to the knockout round.

After the disastrous 5-1 defeat in the first game against France, Italy kept their slim hope of staying in the competition with a share of the spoils against Iceland.

Like the game against France, Italy was behind as early as the third minute when Karolina Vilhjalmsdottir put Iceland ahead.

But in the second half, Valentina Bergamaschi equalised for the Le Azurre to keep their slim hopes alive heading into the final group games.

Italy must beat Belgium in their final game to have a chance of making it out of the group, while Iceland, who have two points from two games, need to beat France in their final group game.

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