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Italy, Denmark and France go marching on

Italy and Denmark made it three straight wins in UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying while France emphatically chalked up a fourth consecutive victory with a 5-0 defeat of Israel.

France celebrate Gaëtane Thiney's hat-trick against Israel
France celebrate Gaëtane Thiney's hat-trick against Israel ©FFF

Italy gained the initiative in Group 1 with victory against Russia on a day when Denmark and France also continued their 100% starts to UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying.

Having defeated Russia 2-0 in a decisive 2009 finals group game, their last competitive meeting, the Azzurrine triumphed by the same scoreline in Treviso courtesy of Pamela Conti's first-half double.

The 29-year-old, who plays her club football in Russia for UEFA Women's Champions League contenders FC Energy Voronezh, opened the scoring from the spot after Elisa Camporese had been pushed by Ksenia Tsybutovich. She doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark with a swinging cross from the left which evaded everybody on its way in via the far post.

In the same group, Poland beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-0 and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece earned their first points after a 1-1 draw in Prilep. Italy are three points clear of Russia and Poland, while Group 7 leaders Denmark have even more daylight between themselves and the chasing pack following a 3-0 defeat of Portugal.

Nanna Christiansen, Kristine Petersen and Theresa Nielsen were on target for the visitors, who lead the Czech Republic by five points having played a game more. Austria prevailed 3-0 against Armenia in the section's other match.

France, FIFA Women's World Cup semi-finalists this summer, completed the Group 4 double over Israel with a 5-0 triumph in Troyes, Gaëtane Thiney scoring a first-half hat-trick as Bruno Bini's side coasted to a fourth straight win.

Iceland have a healthy seven-point advantage over Norway in Group 3 after a 2-0 success in Northern Ireland. Norway, who have two matches in hand on the leaders, moved into second place thanks to a 1-0 victory against Belgium, Marita Lund scoring the winner on 66 minutes.

Having opened their campaign on Saturday with a goalless draw in Ukraine, Slovakia continued their solid start to Group 5 by defeating Estonia 3-1, Veronika Klechová scoring twice.



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