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First steps: how the Women's EURO debutants got on

Five teams have made their UEFA Women's EURO debut, with Austria the only winners and mixed fortunes for the rest – our reporting team assess their first performances.

Austria and Switzerland faced each other on debut
Austria and Switzerland faced each other on debut ©Sportsfile

How they did: Opened Group A with a 1-0 loss to Denmark, paying for a slow start as they conceded in the sixth minute. The Red Devils were unable to level despite looking more than a match for their experienced opponents as the game went on. "We started off with too much respect for Denmark and in awe of the finals so at half-time I told them not to show Denmark that much respect," said coach Ives Serneels. "I was proud of how much energy they gave and it's a pity we didn't equalise."

Can they make it? On Thursday they take on a Norway team itching to bounce back from a 1-0 reverse of their own, against the Netherlands, in what was a disappointing display by the 2013 runners-up. Belgium did beat Norway 3-2 in a 2015 friendly and the match winner that day, Tessa Wullaert, will again be the central figure for Serneels's side after her tireless display on Sunday.

©Getty Images

How they did: Furiously pressed their way to a surprise 1-0 triumph against Switzerland, recording the country's maiden victory at a EURO final tournament (male or female). Forward Nina Burger took her chance well early on and Dominik Thalhammer's side – on debut at a women's senior final tournament – held firm thereafter. "We've worked for many years towards this," said the coach. "Our attitude was superb from the start and Switzerland played into our hands with the open nature of their game."

Can they make it? Absolutely. Although facing favourites France on Saturday is a tough ask, the last fixture against Iceland is winnable for an Austria side suddenly relishing their self-proclaimed underdog status. Thalhammer got the high-pressing tactics spot on first time round and his charges took full advantage of Swiss mistakes. He and his players will have to repeat the feat at least once more to reach the last eight.

How they did: Tipped as dark horses coming into the tournament, the Swiss struggled on Tuesday and lost 1-0 to a hard-running Austria side, despite a valiant late rally following Rahel Kiwic's dismissal. "We made too many errors and got into a downward spiral," said coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. "We weren't anywhere near where we wanted to be. It wasn't what I'd expected."

Can they make it? The game against Iceland on Saturday is vital for both nations. The Swiss have to – and will – improve, but with hotly-tipped France to play on Wednesday, a win against the Nordic outfit is a must. If that is to happen, though, talented Chelsea forward Ramona Bachmann and experienced Wolfsburg midfielder Lara Dickenmann will have to step up.

©Getty Images

How they did: A 2-0 defeat by neighbours Spain was not the debut they would have wanted, but it was a gutsy performance nonetheless against one of the dark horses for the tournament. Francisco Neto set his side up to frustrate and they did just that. However, Spain's pressure and class eventually told as they took advantage of two lapses in concentration to secure all three points within the first 45 minutes. Their second-half display was much improved as they stood up to Jorge Vilda's team and they will take confidence from that.

Can they make it? It will be difficult, especially given how good fellow Group D opponents England looked as they swatted Scotland aside. You never know with football and Portugal will certainly take heart from the fact they face their fellow debutants next and should they get the three points there, it will go down to the wire. But for Portugal, the important thing is the learning process for future success and even if they do not make it, just getting to the Netherlands was a real achievement in itself.

How they did: OK. They made history by qualifying but set an unfortunate second record against the worst possible opponents, suffering a tournament-high 6-0 loss to England. They battled hard, but missing regulars Kim Little, Jennifer Beattie, Emma Mitchell and Hayley Lauder they did not have the weapons to deal with an England team who finished in deadly fashion. To lose the next star in line, Jane Ross, to a shoulder injury hardly helped.

Can they make it? A win against Portugal is a must, with Lauder possibly to return even if Ross is set to miss out. They have beaten Portugal in the recent past so victory is possible; more difficult will be the meeting with their nemeses from the 2013 play-offs, Spain, who started very well on Wednesday.