France will play Iceland, and Italy will play Belgium in the final round of group games as the group stages of the Euro 2022 tournament come to a conclusion on Monday. At stake for both teams is second place in their respective groups and a spot in the quarterfinals against Sweden.
As the group stages come to a conclusion, France has already secured first place in Group D; thus, Italy, Iceland, and Belgium are engaged in a fierce competition to see who will join France in the quarterfinals.
After securing their spot as the winners of Group D with two wins from two going into their final group game with Iceland in Rotherham, France can figuratively put the kettle on after securing their spot as the winners of Group D with two wins from two. Yorkshire, England is the home of Yorkshire Tea.
However, the 16-match winning streak that Corianne Diacre’s side has been on hasn’t been built without the sort of winning mentality that won’t let something like that happen, even against an Iceland side that desperately needs a result to progress. This mentality has allowed the team to beat Iceland.
The French team, led by Diacre, has performed admirably thus far, and they will want to maintain their status as one of the tournament’s dark horses by positioning themselves in such a way that they are in a strong position to take on the team that is currently in first place. France will play the Netherlands in a guaranteed quarterfinal on Friday.
Diacre’s side appeared unsettled in that 2-1 victory after the loss of the PSG striker, who has scored 28 goals in 32 appearances for her country. This will be of major importance for Diacre, whose side will have to learn to live without Marie-Antoinette Katoto after she suffered an injury against Belgium that ended her participation in the tournament.
“I believe we can do something great,” was the message that Iceland coach Thorsteinn Halldorsson conveyed to the media during his pre-match press conference. Iceland has already surpassed their performance at the 2017 European Championships by earning a point in their most recent match against Italy.
The underdog nation’s primary objective at Euro 2022 was to secure a victory, and despite the fact that they held leads against both Belgium and Italy, they have not yet accomplished this goal. On Monday, a tie — or even a loss by a single goal — could be enough to put them through to the next round; however, this would require the other two clubs in the group to also draw.
Perhaps it was Dagny Brynjarsdottir, a midfielder for Iceland, who said it best when she said: “It’s a kind of football. Almost anything may take place.”