Geyoro hat-trick leads France demolition of Italy
Grace Geyoro's stunning first-half hat-trick helped France throw down a Women's Euro 2022 gauntlet in a 5-1 rout of Italy in Rotherham.
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Geyoro, winning her 50th cap, became the first player in tournament history to score three times before half-time, with Les Bleues' five goals heading into the interval also a record.
In an explosive performance that only solidifies their credentials as one of the pre-tournament favourites, France extended their winning run to 15 games across all competitions to go top of Group D after the first round of fixtures.
Geyoro's opener in the ninth minute set the tone for a superb first half at New York Stadium, with Marie-Antoinette Katoto doubling the lead three minutes later, before Delphine Cascarino sparked a madcap stretch before the interval that saw her team-mate grab her second and then third.
Matters looked to have gone from bad to worse for Italy after captain Sara Gama was shown a red card in the 66th minute for a high, mistimed tackle on Geyoro, but the VAR recommended a pitchside review, which controversially saw the decision downgraded to a booking.
That kept a full contingent of players on to help seize a late consolation goal through substitute Martina Piemonte, but Milena Bertolini's side now face a serious test of their character to see how they respond to such an emphatic drubbing.
Next, they play Iceland, who drew 1-1 with Belgium in Manchester as Justine Vanhaevermaet converted a spot-kick and Berglind Thorvaldsdottir missed one.
Thorvaldsdottir did get on the scoresheet five minutes after half-time, having earlier seen a tame penalty saved by Nicky Evrard, but Vanhaevermaet struck from 12 yards to secure a share of the spoils for the Red Flames.