Grace Geyoro scored a first half hat-trick as France made a dream start to the women’s European championship by thrashing Italy 5-1 in Group D at Rotherham’s New York stadium on Sunday.
Italy were 5-0 down at the break on a warm evening in South Yorkshire as France turned on the style with the highest first-half score at a women’s Euro finals.
Midfielder Geyoro put Les Bleues ahead from close range in the ninth minute and Marie-Antoinette Katoto made it 2-0 three minutes later after goalkeeper Laura Giuliani palmed it straight into her path.
The goal was Paris Saint-Germain forward Katoto’s 26th in 31 international appearances and she could have had another moments later, crashing an effort against the post, as confident France dominated possession on their way to topping the group.
Corinne Diacre’s side, who went through their qualifying group without conceding a goal but have yet to win a major tournament, were 3-0 up in the 38th minute when Delphine Cascarino lashed in a powerful strike.
Geyoro, making her 50th appearance for France, bagged her second two minutes later by beating two defenders and the goalkeeper before rolling the ball into an empty net and punching the corner flag, with the goal upheld by VAR.
She then made Euro history by registering a hat-trick before the game had even hit its halfway point. France went somewhat off the boil after the break, but had the game already safely won, as Diacre opted to change her frontline and bring off all three scorers.
Italy had risked being reduced to 10 players in the 64th minute when captain Sara Gama was shown a straight red for a high tackle on Geyoro, which was reduced to a yellow after a lengthy VAR review.
Substitute Martina Piemonte grabbed a consolation goal with a looping header in the second period and Italy could have had a late second when Selma Bacha cleared off the line in stoppage time with goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin beaten, but the damage had already been done as France made it 15 straight wins.
France, who have put themselves in pole position to qualify after just one game, turn their attention to Belgium next, while Italy take on Iceland at the Manchester City Academy Stadium. Group D are back in action on July 14.
Follow Euro 2022 across Sky Sports
Keep up with all the latest from Euro 2022 across Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.
Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.
They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong programme line up around the tournament.
Euro 2022: The groups…
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Euro 2022: The schedule…
Wednesday July 6
Group A: England 1-0 Austria
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland
Friday July 8
Group B: Spain 4-1 Finland
Group B: Germany 4-0 Denmark
Saturday July 9
Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland
Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden
Sunday July 10
Group D: Belgium 1-1 Iceland
Group D: France 5-1 Italy
Monday July 11
Group A: Austria vs Northern Ireland – kick off 5pm, St Mary’s
Group A: England v Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Tuesday July 12
Group B: Denmark vs Finland – kick off 5pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – kick off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy vs Iceland – kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Belgium – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Friday July 15
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s
Group A: Austria vs Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16
Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday July 17
Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday July 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Friday July 22
Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Tuesday July 26
Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick off 5pm, Wembley