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Women's EURO group stage: reporters' picks

The Women's EURO 2017 group stage is over with the 2013 runners-up eliminated, debutants through and plenty of talking points: our reporting team pick their favourite moments.

The Netherlands set the tone on the opening day
The Netherlands set the tone on the opening day ©Getty Images

Our reporting team pick their favourite moments from the tournament so far.

John Atkin (@UEFAcomJohnA)


Vikings and queens
It was a finals to forget for Iceland but their supporters were incredible, reprising the scenes we became accustomed to in France last summer. There were two to three thousand of them at each of their matches, recruiting neutrals like the Pied Piper as they made their way to the ground.

The Viking thunder-clap was showcased, with one glorious rendition in their final outing as the Austria fans provided an echo. Coach Freyr Alexandersson saw it for what it was. "Icelanders can be very proud of how they treat women and women's sport."

Ben Gladwell (@UEFAcomBenG)


Gabbiadini farewell
Italy's Melania Gabbiadini announced her retirement after the Azzurre's elimination was confirmed, and it was touching to see her team-mates' outpouring of respect and appreciation for an "icon" of the Italian game. They turned their words into action, too, beating Sweden for the first time in a Women's EURO final tournament with an inspired performance, despite already being eliminated.

They also managed arguably one of the best goals of the tournament so far from Daniela Sabatino. Tears were flowing afterwards as the emotions caught up with Italy's "silent leader", who deservedly left the game on a high.

Emma Hingant (@UEFAcomEmmaH)

©AFP/Getty Images

Scotland's highs and lows
Scotland went through the full gamut of emotions in their first major finals. From the 6-0 hammering by the Auld Enemy to the game they should've won but didn't against Portugal, all the way to coming within a goal of the quarter-finals as they beat Spain.

It will be difficult to forget the Tartan Army's spontaneous chanting of We'll Be Coming, Flower of Scotland and No Scotland No Party, the sheer joy of the team after Erin Cuthbert scored Scotland's first EURO goal or Anna Signeul's tears after bidding farewell following 12 years in charge.

Laure James (@UEFAcomLaureJ)


Female role models
I could pick key battles, fair play, superb saves or unforgettable goals, but my most memorable moment came at Iceland's team hotel. Sif Atladóttir gave an emotional account of how she has grown from an ambitious young player who looked to her father, Atli Edvaldsson, for inspiration, to becoming a role model herself.

"I think the beautiful part of it is that even young boys are coming up and telling us that they want to be Sara Björk [Gunnarsdóttir] or Dagný [Brynjarsdóttir], or they want to be me," she explained through tears and enthusiasm, "and it's wonderful."

Paul Saffer (@UEFAcomPaulS)

©Getty Images

Clincal England Taylor-made
England's win against Scotland was spectacular but perhaps the key moment of the whole group stage was their second against Spain. Jorge Vilda's side had totally dominated possession but England, as fit and organised as they have ever been, were ready for it and Jodie Taylor, the striker of the group stage, took her one chance clinically in a way that has set her apart from many other forwards here. "All we need is one chance, like the cliché," she told me.

Berend Scholten (@UEFAcomBerendS)

©Getty Images

Dutch delight
The Netherlands reached the quarter-finals with a perfect record, and it all started against Norway. Lieke Martens' perfect cross was headed in by Shanice van de Sanden, who reacted very emotionally when she was substituted. No wonder, in what is her home city of Utrecht.

For the Dutch this was the perfect start against opponents who, as 2013 runners-up, had begun as favourites. Even the Dutch King and Queen appreciated it enough to take part in the Mexican Wave. Or as coach Sarina Wiegman put it: "This performance really is a breakthrough for us."

And then there was debutants Austria's celebrations after sealing progress:

Daniel Thacker (@UEFAcomDanielT)


Belgium's new frontier
It was a delight to be present for Belgium's maiden UEFA Women’s EURO finals victory, when the Red Flames confidently saw off much-fancied Norway in Breda. The 2013 finalists impressed in the first half, but Ives Serneels' side emerged the stronger after the interval, second-half goals from Elke Van Gorp and Janice Cayman proving enough to ensure victory.

Located on the Belgian border, Breda welcomed over 4,000 visiting fans, who created a fine atmosphere inside the Rat Verlegh Station while witnessing history.

Joe Walker (@UEFAcomJoeW)


Portugal front-page news
Portugal's first ever Women's EURO win against Scotland was a personal highlight. Having seen first hand how united and tight-knit the group of players are, it was wonderful to see just how much first of all scoring a maiden tournament goal and then securing a well-deserved victory meant to them.

It was front page news back home and it was the moment that Portuguese women's football truly announced itself. Hopefully they can use this as a building block for future participation.