Euro 2022 has reached the quarter-final stage with Europe’s big guns still in contention for glory.
Hosts England, eight-times winners Germany, rising force Spain and reigning champions the Netherlands have safely negotiated their way to the knockout stage, Sarina Wiegman’s side and the Germans having done so impressively with 100 per cent records.
Here’s how the last eight shapes up…
England v Spain (8pm Wednesday, July 20, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium)
England fully justified their status as one of the pre-tournament favourites with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Austria before an 8-0 romp against Norway and a 5-0 demolition of Northern Ireland to top Group A. Arsenal striker Beth Mead’s five goals to date have put her at the top of the scoring stakes. Spain made it through as Group B runners-up, despite the absence of star player Alexia Putellas through injury, following wins over Finland and Denmark either side of a 2-0 defeat by Germany.
Germany v Austria (8pm Thursday, July 21, Brentford Community Stadium)
Like England, Group B winners Germany have made serene progress, scoring four against Denmark, two against the Spanish and three against Finland, all without reply, with Wolfsburg striker Alexandra Popp finding the back of the net on three occasions. Austria secured their passage courtesy of wins over Northern Ireland and twice winners Norway with Mead’s winner for England the only goal they have conceded to date.
Sweden v Belgium (8pm Friday, July 22, Leigh Sports Village)
Sweden defied the odds to top Group C on goal difference after thumping Portugal 5-0 in their final game following an opening draw with the Dutch and a 2-1 win over Switzerland. Manchester City midfielder Filippa Angeldahl, who scored twice against the Portuguese, is the only Swede to have registered more than once so far. Belgium squeezed through to the last eight for the first time after a narrow 1-0 win over Italy in their final Group D match, and will feel they have nothing to lose.
France v Netherlands (8pm Saturday, July 23, New York Stadium)
France reached the last eight as Group D winners with a game to spare, and will be unconcerned that they lost their 16-match winning streak to a stoppage-time penalty in a 1-1 draw with Iceland. Holders the Netherlands had to settle for second place in Group C having come from behind to draw with the Swedes, surrendered a 2-0 lead against Portugal before edging the game 3-2 and then seeing off Switzerland 4-1 – a contest in which the scores were level with six minutes remaining.