Monday, June 17, 2024

England´s Euro 2025 qualification hopes ´boosted´ after France win, says Wiegman

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Jun 2024

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Sarina Wiegman believes England’s 2-1 win over France on Tuesday was the boost they needed to keep their Euro 2025 qualification hopes alive.

The Lionesses lost 2-1 to the same opponents at St. James’ Park on Friday, with the manager left rueing lapses in concentration over the set-pieces that led to France’s goals.

In the reverse fixture in Saint-Etienne, England dominated the first half, as goals from Georgia Stanway and Alessia Russo put them in control.

Leah Williamson conceded a penalty, which was coolly converted by Kadidiatou Diani in the second half, but England held on to see out a vital win and move just two points behind Les Bleues in Group A3.

Wiegman praised her side’s response to Friday’s defeat but remained coy about their chances ahead of their next qualifiers in July.

“A team effort,” Wiegman told ITV Sport. “You know the second half is going to be different, and they are going to push, but we worked so hard to stay together and keep the win.

“You know they are going to press. They were really chasing us. We have to make better decisions, be a bit calmer. We played into their hands a bit. We know when they win the ball there, they have players that are so quick. We want to take those moments out, of course.

“Of course [the win] gives a boost. We want to win, and we are in a better position now. The group is totally open. We said from the beginning this is a really tough group with top level teams. It helps when you win, but most of all, we did better than Friday.”

Russo was one of the standout players for England during the victory, and she echoed Wiegman’s sentiments.

“I think we got our standards back to where we wanted them,” Russo said. “There are still parts we will work on for sure. We know the level is higher than ever and to even qualify for the Euros is going to be harder than ever.

“I just tried to do what I could. France are a top side with some of the best centre-backs in the world. It was nice to get on the scoresheet, but we created a lot of better chances tonight.

“We know our standards have to be higher. We probably let them slip a bit recently. We know the talent we have. We know the potential we have, and we saw a lot more flashes of it tonight.”

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