By Philip O’Connor
LINKOPING, Sweden, July 18 (Reuters) – France made it three wins out of three in Group C of the women’s European championship in Sweden on Thursday, hammering England 3-0 to head to the knockout stages as the only team with a perfect record.
Spain also reached the quarter-finals with a 1-1 draw against Russia in the group’s other game, a result that means lots will be drawn between the Russians and Denmark later on Thursday to determine the eighth qualifier.
France outclassed England from the kickoff in Linkoping, and Eugenie Le Sommer had already hit the post before she opened the scoring in the ninth minute.
Winger Elodie Thomis made a powerful run before passing to Le Sommer, whose precise strike beat England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.
Le Sommer then turned provider on the hour, feeding Louisa Necib, who curled a beautiful shot into the top corner beyond Bardsley.
When Wendie Renard headed home a corner for France two minutes later, England, who finished bottom of the section with one point, were heading for the exit.
In Norrkoping, Veronica Boquete gave Spain the lead early in the first half, but Elena Terekhova struck from the edge of the area to put Russia back on level terms just before halftime.
The point shared meant Spain finished second in Group C on four points behind leaders France on nine.
They joined Sweden and Italy, Group A winners and runners-up respectively, and Norway and Germany from Group B, in the last eight.
Iceland, with four points in Group B, qualified for the knockout stage as one of the best third-placed teams.
The lsat quarter-final berth will be filled by Russia or Denmark, who were third in their groups with two points each. (Reporting by Philip O’Connor, editing by Stephen Wood)