France, Austria reach women’s Euro quarter-finals

Rotterdam (Netherlands) (AFP) – A late Camille Abily free-kick sent 10-woman France through to the women’s Euro quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, alongside newcomers Austria who routed Iceland 3-0 on Wednesday.

In Breda, Switzerland took the lead on 19 minutes when Eve Perisset was sent off for bringing down Ramona Bachmann and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic slammed in a header from the ensuing free-kick.

In the 76th minute, Abily’s free-kick somehow slipped through the fingers of Swiss goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann, following Crnogorcevic’s foul on Eugenie Le Sommer.

In Rotterdam, Austria cruised to an easy win against Iceland to seal top spot in Group C with first-half goals by Sarah Zadrazil and Nina Burger, and a late strike by substitute Stefanie Enzinger.

Zadrazil fired home on 36 minutes, capitalising on a howler by keeper Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir who failed to deal with an easy cross.

Burger nodded in Zadrazil’s flicked header eight minutes later, and Enzinger volleyed home on 90 minutes to round off the scoring.

France started on a high, with Claire Lavogez’s blast saved by a diving Thalmann.

But things got complicated as Perisset left the pitch in tears, with France struggling against the solid Swiss defence.

Thalmann kept out Abily’s low shot, while Swiss skipper Lara Dickenmann saw an effort repelled by Sarah Bouhaddi.

After the equaliser, France held off Switzerland’s pressure, with Crnogorcevic firing wide and Bachmann shooting straight at Bouhaddi.

Austria never left any doubt about who was going to dominate the game in Rotterdam, with Nicole Billa testing Gunnarsdottir three times in the first half.

In a rare Iceland chance, Fanndis Fridriksdottir narrowly missed the goal on 26 minutes.

The Austrians kept Gunnarsdottir busy until the end, as the Iceland keeper had to handle second-half attempts by Laura Feiersinger, Zadrazil and Sarah Puntigam.

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