France kick off Euro 2022 in style by crushing Italy


France made a statement in their Euro 2022 Group D opener as Grace Geyoro scored a first-half hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing against Italy.

France’s demolition work began early when Geyoro netted their first goal inside the opening 10 minutes and Marie-Antoinette Katoto netted the brace three minutes later.

Almost all of the first half in a row – apart from a few tame Italian attacks – came from France and they ended the half with three goals in eight minutes, including two more from Geyoro for the first hat-trick of the tournament.

Italy dug in after the break, while France couldn’t maintain the brilliance that was on display in the first half and Martina Piemonte’s second-half consolation gave Italian fans cause to cheer.

Italy had the first chance in the opening minutes when Cristiana Girelli’s header sent Barbara Bonansea one-on-one, but her effort was stopped superbly by Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.

The tide quickly changed and a first period of French dominance began soon after when Geyoro finished from close range to make it 1-0 in the ninth minute.

France quickly had a second when Sakina Karchaoui saw her cross parried by keeper Laura Giuliani in the way of Katoto and she couldn’t miss from inside the box.

The relentless, efficient and bullish French attack showed no signs of letting up and moments after Delphine Cascarino pulled wide with the gaping goal, she caught that with a scratched effort from outside the box.

Les Bleues looked like they wanted to score with every attack, this time Geyoro ran in on goal before sitting down Giuliani and rounding him to tap into an empty net.

Geyoro completed his first-half hat-trick to put the game beyond doubt before the half-time whistle with an emphatic volley past the helpless Giuliani.

The Italian night threatened to get worse when captain Sara Gama was shown a red card by referee Rebecca Welch for a late challenge on Geyoro, only for the decision to be reduced to yellow by VAR.

With pride on the line in the second half, Italy certainly showed more and were rewarded for their efforts when substitute Piemonte curled a header from inside the box, but the damage was already done as France won 15 consecutive wins. The other game in the group had ended earlier in a 1-1 draw between Iceland and Belgium.


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