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England lose to France in crucial Euro 2025 Qualifier

England’s hopes of automatic qualification for the 2025 Euros took a blow losing 2-1 to France at St James’ Park.

England France

Goals from Elisa De Almeida and Marie-Antoinette Katoto ensured France took control of Group A3, while England remain in third, a playoff spot.

Beth Mead’s opening goal wasn’t enough to secure any points for England, who also lost Mary Earps to injury in the opening minutes and head to Saint-Etienne for the reverse fixture on June 4.

England boss Sarina Wiegman said: “What we showed today, I think we can win [in the reverse fixture] on Tuesday.

“You can see we had more possession, more shots on goal and on target. So we go out there to win that game and from there we will see.”

England’s heroic goalkeeper Mary Earps pulled up immediately to start the game and after trying to hold out, limped off to be replaced by Chelsea’s Hannah Hampton after eight minutes.

England midfielder Georgia Stanway said: “Obviously we hope that Mary is ok and she recovers well but you could play either one of them [Earps or Hampton] and you know what you will get because they’re both world class.”

The Lionesses first chance came when Lauren Hemp got in behind France right-back Elisa De Almeida and cut the ball back across the box to Ella Toone who dragged it agonisingly wide.

This was a sign of things to come as England’s goal came down the same flank, Hemp’s pull back this time rolling all the way across the box and met by Beth Mead, who tapped home from short distance.

If it was not Hemp, Georgia Stanway was approaching to tap in before getting wiped out, as France conceded their first goal of their 2025 Euro qualifying campaign.

After being tormented by Hemp, De Almedia took her chance to exact revenge when she met Kenza Dali’s out swinging corner with a delightful side-footed curling lob to beat Hampton for the equaliser.

A Dali corner proved too difficult to clear for the Lionesses and after the ball bobbled around, Kadidiatou Diani headed into Marie-Antoinette Katoto who calmly volleyed into the bottom-right corner to give France control.

Currently Sweden take up second in Group A3, and the second automatic qualification spot with a better goal difference than England, while Ireland are yet to pick up a point.

Author

  • Eduardo Tansley

    Trying to tell stories he would want to read, whether that's Dominican football or British basketball, Eduardo has interviewed sports people from CEOs to athletes on the rise. @tansleyeduardo