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Patience rewarded for France
 Women's Football Euros News - 19 Jul 2017
 
A late penalty from Eugenie Le Sommer gave France all three points as they overcame the resistance of Iceland with a 1-0 victory in Group C.
 
The pattern of the game was established early on with France carrying the game towards a well drilled Icelandic defence and they did go close in the ninth minute, Clarisse Le Bihan curling a shot just wide.
 
Other than this effort, the French side were finding it hard to find a way through and were repeatedly foiled by a series of firm but well timed challenges. Iceland did produce an opportunity when Brynjarsdottir headed wide when well placed and at the other end, they dug in to keep France at bay and ensure they were on level terms at half time.
 
At the start of the second half, a Camille Abily free kick drew a good save from Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir but on the whole, Iceland were content to defend on the edge of their penalty area and force France to attempt long shots on goal. Their best moments on the break came via speedy winger Fanndis Fridriksdottir who was in lively form on the right.
 
At the other end, Abily's pass released Elodie Thomis on goal but she shot tamely at Gunnarsdottir and the chance was lost. Wendie Renard then thumped a header against the bar from an Abily corner and the playmaker herself drilled a shot inches wide as her side's frustrations continued to grow.
 
With four minutes remaining, from a ball pumped from deep into the area, Amandine Henry was wrestled to the ground by Elin Jensen and a penalty was awarded. Le Sommer kept her cool to send Gunnarsdottir the wrong way from the spot for the goal which saw France off to a winning start.
 
Earlier in the day, Austria caused something of a surprise on their finals debut when they defeated Switzerland 1-0 in Deventer. They showed no sign of nerves and with fifteen minutes on the clock, they took the lead when Sarah Zadrazil's through ball released Nina Burger and she produced an unerring finish from just inside the area.
 
Switzerland were finding it hard to get going with their much vaunted forward line of Ramona Bachmann and Lara Dickenmann being kept quiet and they could have found themselves two down early in the second half, when Burger shot wide following a goalmouth scramble.
 
Rahel Kiwic did go close to an equaliser with a powerful header from a corner but Sara Puntigam was handily placed to clear off the line. Things were to get worse for Kiwic on the hour as she became the first person in the tournament to be red carded when hauling Burger down just outside the area as she was through on goal. The resulting free kick was touched aside for Puntigam whose powerful shot was well saved by Gaelle Thalmann.
 
A looping shot from Vanessa Bernauer was clawed around the post by Manuela Zinsberger and a strike by Bachmann was deflected narrowly over but Switzerland could not find a way through and Austria held on for a result which greatly boosts their chances of reaching the quarter finals.
 

 
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