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Women's EURO 2022: France vs Belgium match facts, stats, ones to watch

France are the early Group D pacesetters after a five-goal flurry on Matchday 1, when Belgium came from behind to earn a draw.

Grace Geyoro (right) led France to victory on Matchday 1
Grace Geyoro (right) led France to victory on Matchday 1 AFP via Getty Images

France vs Belgium: Head-to-head

  • Matchday 2 of UEFA Women's EURO 2022 concludes in Rotherham as France aim to avoid a first defeat against Belgium in over 37 years.
  • France made tournament history against Italy in Rotherham on Matchday 1, becoming the first side to score five in a half as they raced into a 5-0 lead ahead of the interval. Grace Geyoro, on her 50th appearance for Les Bleues, became the first player to hit a hat-trick in the first half of a Women's EURO match. Italy reduced the deficit after the break but France held on for their first ever win by a four-goal margin at the finals.
  • Belgium battled back to earn a point against Iceland at the Manchester City Academy Stadium. Red Flames keeper Nicky Evrard saved Berglind Thorvaldsdóttir's first-half penalty, but was unable to keep out Thorvaldsdóttir's header early in the second period. Justine Vanhaevermaet kept her nerve to level from the spot midway through the second period after Elena Dhont had been fouled.
  • The neighbours are facing each other for the first time since a warm-up friendly ahead of EURO 2017. France triumphed 2-0 in Montpellier in July 2017, courtesy of Heleen Jaques' 15th-minute own goal and a close-range finish from Camille Catala late on.
  • France have scored nine goals across those last two meetings, also recording a 7-0 friendly win in Calais in June 2011, with Marie-Laure Delie hitting a first-half hat-trick.
  • Belgium have scored just once in their last eight encounters with Les Bleues, that solitary goal coming in a 2-1 friendly defeat three days prior to that 7-0 loss in June 2011. Lenie Onzia had given the Red Flames a 55th-minute lead in Nieuwpoort, only for Delie's double (57, 84) to win it for the visitors.
  • France have won the last six meetings between the sides, scoring 23 goals.
  • The last time Belgium avoided defeat against Les Bleues came in the last competitive fixture between the sides – a 0-0 draw in Loison-sous-Lens in a EURO 1989 qualifier in May 1988.
  • France are unbeaten in the last nine meetings – winning eight – in a run that stretches back to March 1986.
  • The sides are facing each other at a major tournament for the first time, their only competitive fixtures coming in successive EURO qualifying campaigns for the 1987 and 1989 tournaments.
  • Belgium's last win came in a preliminary for EURO 1987, their only victory in that group campaign a 3-1 success against Les Bleues in Zaventem in May 1985.
  • Belgium have won just one of the last 11 encounters (D2 L8) against France having been victorious in three of the opening five meetings (D1 L1).
  • France are in their seventh Women's EURO, all in succession. They have reached the quarter-finals in each of the last three, having exited at the group stage in their first three appearances.
  • Les Bleues lost in the last eight against England in 2017, Jodie Taylor scoring the only goal, having been eliminated on penalties at the same stage against Denmark and the Netherlands in 2013 and 2009 respectively.
  • Belgium made their major tournament debut at EURO 2017, finishing third in Group A behind eventual winners the Netherlands and Denmark, who would also reach the final. The Red Flames' sole win came on Matchday 2, Ives Serneels' side earning a 2-0 success against Norway in Breda.
  • France topped Group G in qualifying for this competition without conceding a goal in their eight games – scoring 44 themselves. Their only failure to pick up maximum points was a 0-0 draw away to eventual runners-up Austria in October 2020.
  • Belgium secured their place at only their second EURO by winning Group H thanks to seven victories in their eight matches. The exception was a 2-1 loss to eventual runners-up Switzerland in Thun in September 2020.
  • In their emphatic 5-1 Matchday 1 success against Italy, France scored four or more goals in a Women's EURO match for the first time; they had not previously recorded a victory at the tournament by more than a three-goal margin.
  • Geyoro's hat-trick in the defeat of the Azzurre was the fifth in EURO history and the second by a French player, after Angélique Roujas in 1997.
  • France became the third nation to score five or more goals in their opening game of a EURO tournament, after Norway in 1997 and England in 2017.
  • France have now won their last five Matchday 1 games at Women's EURO.
  • Les Bleues are unbeaten in their last eight group stage matches at the Women's EURO (W5 D3), since a 5-1 defeat by Germany in 2009.
  • Belgium's Matchday 1 draw with Iceland was their first in 16 EURO matches, qualifying included (W11 L4).
  • The Red Flames were involved in the only goalless first half on Matchday 1.
  • All four of Belgium's finals goals have come between the 59th and 67th minute.Ones to watch: France
Watch Cascarino's Matchday 1 goal (France)

Delphine Cascarino

  • The 25-year-old has scored three goals in qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, with only Marie-Antoinette Katoto hitting more for Les Bleues.
  • The versatile attacker made her senior international debut on English soil, in the 0-0 friendly draw against the Lionesses at Doncaster in October 2016.
  • Cascarino was part of the France side that won the FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup in 2012 and the UEFA Women's European Under-19 Championship four years later.
  • The Olympique Lyonnais youth product claimed her seventh Division 1 Féminine title and sixth UEFA Women's Champions League winners' medal with Les Fenottes in 2021/22.
Top Scorer: Katoto gets off the mark

Marie-Antoinette Katoto

  • The 23-year-old has been in prolific form in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup, scoring ten goals in her eight appearances – including a hat-trick against Greece in September 2021.
  • The Paris Saint-Germain striker hit 18 league goals in 2021/22 to end the season as the Division 1 Féminine leading scorer for the third time in four campaigns.
  • The forward became Paris's all-time leading scorer in February 2022, hitting her 132nd goal for the club to overtake Marie-Laure Delie's previous record.
  • Katoto struck a first-half hat-trick as Les Parisiennes lifted the 2021/22 Coupe de France Féminine with an 8-0 final victory against Yzeure Allier Auvergne FF on 15 May.
Women's EURO highlights: France 5-1 Italy

Melvine Malard

  • The 22-year-old made her France debut in the EURO 2022 qualification campaign, coming on as a substitute in the 2-0 away win against Serbia in September 2020.
  • The forward made her first start for Les Bleues in a 7-0 victory against North Macedonia four days later.
  • Malard struck her first goals for France in the 5-0 win versus Kazakhstan on 26 November in a preliminary ahead of the 2023 World Cup.
  • The Lyon attacker finished as the tournament's leading scorer with four goals as France won the UEFA Women's European Under-19 Championship in Scotland in 2019.
Women's EURO highlights: Belgium 1-1 Iceland

Ones to watch: Belgium

Janice Cayman

  • The 33-year-old has just completed her third campaign with Lyon where she has won the UEFA Women's Champions League twice, two league titles and the 2019/20 Coupe de France Féminine.
  • Cayman first moved to France in 2012, spending four years at Juvisy, and returned to the country after a short spell in the United States to join Montpellier in 2017.
  • The versatile forward scored Belgium's second goal in their only victory at EURO 2017, their 2-0 Matchday 2 success against Norway.
  • The attacker is the Red Flames' most-capped player, making her Belgium debut in a 3-0 defeat against Germany in October 2007 in a qualifier ahead of EURO 2009.
Wullaert on Belgium point

Justine Vanhaevermaet

  • The 30-year-old featured in all eight of the Red Flames' qualifiers for EURO 2022, starting seven.
  • The midfielder scored her first goal for Belgium in the 6-1 EURO 2022 qualifying win against Romania in September 2020.
  • Vanhaevermaet, who joined Women's Super League side Reading prior to the 2021/22 campaign, has since struck three times in the 2023 World Cup preliminaries.
  • She missed out on a place in the Belgium squad at EURO 2017 having suffered a knee injury ahead of the tournament.
Women's EURO 2022 Inside View: Belgium

Davinia Vanmechelen

  • The 22-year-old spent just over a year on the books of French side Paris Saint-Germain after joining from Genk in January 2018, making just two appearances for Les Parisiennes before moving to the Netherlands.
  • The forward hit her first hat-trick for the national side in the 6-1 friendly victory against Luxembourg on 28 June.
  • The attacker's treble against Luxembourg were her first goals for her country since September 2019, when she scored in a EURO 2022 qualifier against Croatia.
  • Vanmechelen was the youngest member of the Red Flames' squad at EURO 2017 aged just 17, and made two substitute appearances at the tournament.