Belgium and France to begin their Euro 22 campaigns

Reigning champions the Netherlands had to make do with a draw in their opening fixture.

By Press Association Published: 10 July 2022 - 3.30am

Free-scoring Belgium and miserly France join the Euro 2022 party on Sunday as Group D finally gets under way.

The Belgians launch their campaign against Iceland at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, while the French go head-to-head with Italy at Rotherham’s New York Stadium.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look of what lies ahead on day five of the finals.

Going for goals

Belgium’s 15 matches during the 2021-22 campaign yielded no fewer than 63 goals, and a continuation of that form would give them every chance of making it to the knockout stage at a major tournament for the first time.

However, in Iceland they will face opponents who successfully negotiated the group stage in 2013 and are competing at their fourth successive Euros.

None shall pass

France made it through their eight Group G qualifiers without conceding a single goal and will head into their battle with Italy determined to extend that record.

However the Italians, with seven Juventus players in their squad, made it to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2019 and will have high hopes of denting French hopes.

As you were

All four teams in Group C emerged from the opening round of fixtures on Saturday with something to show for their efforts.

Reigning champions the Netherlands needed a second-half equaliser from Jill Roord to cancel out Jonna Andersson’s opener as they drew 1-1 with Sweden at Bramall Lane.

Switzerland, who led Portugal 2-0 after five minutes courtesy of goals from Coumba Sow and Rahel Kiwic, had to make do with a point after Diana Gomes and Jessica Silva hit back a Leigh Sports Village.

Ton up

Skipper Lia Walti will have cause to remember Switzerland’s opening game with particular fondness despite their failure to hang on to their lead.

The Arsenal midfielder, described by Swiss coach Nils Nielsen as the “brain, heart and soul” of his team, won her 100th cap against Portugal.

Stat of the day

21,342
The crowd at Bramall Lane for Netherlands v Sweden, a record for a Women's Euro game not featuring the host nation outside of a final

Picture of the day

Rahel Kiwic (second right) scores Switzerland’s second goal against Portugal
Rahel Kiwic (second right) scores Switzerland’s second goal against Portugal (Martin Rickett/PA)

Quote of the day

“This is Portugal: a Portugal with soul, the fighting spirit.”
- Portugal striker Jessica Silva

Up next

July 11
Group A: Austria v Northern Ireland (5pm, St Mary’s Stadium)
Group A: England v Norway (8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium)

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