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France present tough task for England

Published: Tuesday 16 July 2013, 7.30CET
France have not lost to England since 1974 and Hope Powell's team will need to end that run if they want to progress alongside the Group C winners.
France present tough task for England
England and France have met three times in the last two years ©UEFA.com
 

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Published: Tuesday 16 July 2013, 7.30CET

France present tough task for England

France have not lost to England since 1974 and Hope Powell's team will need to end that run if they want to progress alongside the Group C winners.

France and England resume their recent rivalry as UEFA Women's EURO 2013 Group C comes to an end in Linkoping.

• By beating Russia 3-1 and Spain 1-0, France have won the group.

• England picked up a point thanks to Toni Duggan's last-gasp equaliser to hold Russia 1-1, having lost 3-2 to Spain in similarly dramatic circumstances.

• England will finish second only if they win and Russia also win, but not if Russia win by enough to match England's goal difference or goals scored (if both finish level, England will be second due to their coefficient as per Article 8.05 of the official competition regulations).

• If both Russia and England lose, neither could go through as the best third-placed team. If one or both draw, two points would only be enough to go into the third-placed drawing of lots if the games Denmark-Finland and Netherlands-Iceland both finish level.

Head-to-head record
• Seven of their 15 meetings have been drawn over 90 minutes with France winning six and England two. France lead the goal count 17-14.

• Two of the first nations to set up women's national teams, England beat France 3-0 in Brion on 22 April 1973 and 2-0 in Wimbledon on 11 November 1974. That was England's last defeat of Les Bleues.

• There was a 0-0 draw in Longjumeau in February 1977 and in July 1988 it finished 1-1 at Riva Del Garda in the unofficial Mundialito, which England went on to win.

• In one of Hope Powell's last games for England before stepping up to become coach, England lost 3-2 to France on 15 February 1998 in Alencon. Sue Smith also started and Rachel Brown and Rachel Yankey came off the bench. Sandrine Soubeyrand started for France.

• On 15 September 1999, Powell's England lost 1-0 to France in Yeovil. The following August France won 1-0 in Marseille, a game played ahead of a charity match between Les Bleus and the FIFA All-Stars. Soubeyrand started against Yankey and substitute Casey Stoney.

• Their first two competitive meetings were in a play-off to reach the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, France winning 1-0 at both London's Selhurst Park and in Saint-Etienne. Powell fielded Stoney, Fara Williams, and Yankey. France boasted Soubeyrand and second-leg substitute Laura Georges.

• They were paired together in the same 2007 World Cup qualifying group, drawing 0-0 in Blackburn on 26 March 2006. Brown, Stoney, Anita Asante, Karen Carney, Williams, Eniola Aluko, Kelly Smith, Yankey and substitute Alex Scott lined up against Sarah Bouhaddi, Georges, Soubeyrand, Élise Bussaglia and Camile Abily.

• It all came down to the final qualifier in Rennes when France needed to win to pip England to earn a place in China. Williams gave England a 63rd-minute lead and, despite Luidvine Diguelman levelling with two minutes left, France missed out.

• Bouhaddi, Georges, Soubeyrand, Bussaglia, Laure Lepailleur and substitutes Élodie Thomis and Abily faced Brown, Alex Scott, Asante, Carney, Williams, Aluko, Kelly Smith, Yankey and sub Stoney.

• With Bruno Bini now at Les Bleues' helm, England played France at the first Cyprus Cup in March 2009 and drew 2-2. Goals from Corine Franco and Thomis were cancelled out by Stoney and Carney.

• Brown, Stoney, Asante, Stephanie Houghton, Williams, Carney and Kelly Smith plus substitutes Alex Scott and Aluko faced Bouhaddi, Georges, Soubeyrand, Thomis, Louisa Nécib, Bussaglia. Gaëtane Thiney and Eugénie Le Sommer came on.

• The teams met again in the March 2012 Cyprus Cup, France winning 3-0 through goals from Nécib, Marie-Laure Delie and Thiney. Bouhaddi,, Wendie Renard, Ophélie Meilleroux, Corine Franco, Abily, Bussaglia and Le Summer also started while Laure Boulleau and Thomis were substitutes. England's team included Stoney, winning her 100th cap, Karen Bardsley, Alex Scott, Laura Bassett, Houghton, Jill Scott, Asante, Kelly Smith, Carney, Ellen White and Jessica Clarke with Carly Telford and Fara Williams among the substitutes.

Selected previous meetings
9 July 2011: England 1-1 France, aet 3-4 pens (J Scott 59; Bussaglia 88) – BayArena, Leverkusen, FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-final
England: Bardsley, A Scott (Houghton 81), Unitt (Rafferty 81), J Scott, F White, Stoney, F Williams, E White, K Smith, Yankey (Asante 84), Carney.
France: Bouhaddi, Georges, Soubeyrand (Thomis), Bompastor, Abily, Lepailleur, Nécib (Brétigny 79; Le Sommer 106), Bussaglia, Thiney, Delier, Viguier.

• An injury-hit England team nearly reached their first semi-final, but it was Les Bleues who earned a last-four bow. Karen Bardsley saved France's first penalty from Abily, but Claire Rafferty and Faye White missed England's last two either side of Le Sommer's crucial conversion.

20 October 2012: France 2-2 England (Delie 59 83; Houghton 34, J Scott 39) – Charléty, Paris, Friendly
France: Bouhaddi, Franco, Georges, Meilleroux, Boulleau, Soubeyrand (Catala 46), Abily, Nécib, Thiney (Thomis 46, Hamraoui 90+2), Le Sommer, Delie.
England: Bardsley (Chamberlain 70), A Scott, Stoney, Bradley (Bassett 79), Houghton, J Scott, Asante, Carney, Aluko (F Williams 46), E White (Susi 79), Yankey (Duggan 46).

• Not long before these sides were drawn together they met for an exciting friendly. Houghton's superb free-kick and Jill Scott's header were eventually cancelled out by Delie's double.

• There have been many important youth meetings between these nations, most notably the 2010 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship final in Skopje where France beat holders England 2-1.

• When Bini and Powell coached the respective U18 sides they recorded 1-1 qualifying draws in 1997/98 and 2000/01.

• England have had only one competitive women's win in 14 games at all levels against France: 3-1 in the 2007 U19 group stage in Iceland. Bradley, Natasha Dowie and Ellen White scored for England, with Delie having made it 2-1. Jessica Clarke also played for England.

Form guide
• France achieved the only perfect record in qualifying, winning their eight games with 32 goals scored and two conceded. Eleven different players scored.

• They are on a run of 23 straight qualifying group victories going back to a June 2007 loss in Iceland.

• France were the best European performers at the 2012 Olympic tournament, finishing fourth after beating Sweden 2-1 in the quarter-finals then losing 2-1 to Japan in the semis and 1-0 to Canada for bronze.

• Before losing their Olympic opener 4-2 to the United States they had won 17 games in a row. They reached the FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 2011, losing to the United States and then being beaten by Sweden for third place.

• When they made the UEFA Women's EURO 2009 quarter-finals it was the first time France had progressed from any senior group stage.

• England began qualifying with a surprise 2-2 draw in Serbia, having been two up and, although they were held 0-0 in the Netherlands, they then beat the Dutch 1-0 in Manchester to finish top.

• Most of the England team were in Powell's Great Britain Olympic squad that reached the quarter-finals on home soil, having reached the same stage at the 2011 World Cup.

• England's run to the 2009 final (lost 6-2 to Germany) was their best run since reaching the inaugural two-legged 1984 decider. Powell was part of a team that lost 1-0 to Sweden in Gothenberg and won the return 1-0 in Luton before they were defeated on penalties.

Team ties
• In recent years Olympique Lyonnais have proved something of a nemesis for Arsenal LFC when these nations' two biggest clubs have met in the UEFA Women's Champions League/UEFA Women's Cup.

• Arsenal's defence of the trophy in 2007/08 was ended in the quarter-final stage by debutants Lyon. The first leg was goalless at Stade de Gerland but Lyon won the return 3-2, Arsenal having come from behind to lead through Kelly Smith and Yankey only for Abily and Thomis to turn the tie.

• Alongside Abily and Thomis were Georges,  Lepailleur and Nécib while Arsenal also included Asante and Carney.

• Lyon hosted a second qualifying round group the next year and beat Arsenal 3-0 with both sides already through. Goalscorer Abily, Georges, Abily, Nécib and Thomis faced Carney and Yankey.

• In the 2010/11 semi-finals, Lyon beat Arsenal 2-0 in front of 20,123 fans before winning 3-2 away. Bouhaddi, Renard, Georges, Nécib, Thomis, Abily and double goalscorer Le Sommer took on Houghton, scorer Ellen White and Yankey.

Last updated: 16/07/13 14.45CET

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