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European Qualifiers Group E

France see off England women

England women's hopes of Cyprus Cup final glory were blown away in a first-half blitz by France, who won 2-0 in Nicosia.

Last Updated: 13/03/14 at 11:34 Post Comment

Toni Duggan (left) and Steph Houghton (right) react after defeat in the Cyprus C

Toni Duggan (left) and Steph Houghton (right) react after defeat in the Cyprus C

Early goals from Gaetane Thiney and Camille Abily set the French on the road to victory long before the half-time whistle had sounded, and extended their

stranglehold on the fixture.

England have not beaten France since 1974, and have suffered major

disappointments at their hands in recent years having gone out to them in both the 2011 World Cup and 2013 European Championships.

The French got off to the best possible start when, having already hit the post

through Louisa Necib's third-minute half-volley, they took the lead with just

six minutes gone.

Elodie Thomis used her pace out wide to cross for Thiney to prod home the

opening goal.

There was worse to come for Mark Sampson's side with 18 minutes played when Abily's angled shot beat keeper Siobhan Chamberlain.

England managed to reach half-time without further mishap, but the second half proved a largely fruitless affair as their efforts to fight their way back into

the game came to nothing.

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