Lionesses Fall to France Due to Set-Piece Struggles: Wiegman Reflects on Missed Opportunities

England dropped to the third spot in their Euro 2025 qualifying group after suffering their initial home defeat since 2002 in a qualifying match. Head coach Sarina Wiegman criticized the team’s carelessness during set-pieces, as the Lionesses fell to France 2-1, negatively impacting their qualifying prospects.

The reigning European champions had the chance to surpass France in the Group A3 standings. Despite losing goalkeeper Mary Earps to injury early on, the hosts seemed on track to achieve that goal when Beth Mead scored the opener after thirty minutes. Unfortunately, they were plagued by set-piece goals from Elisa De Almeida and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, leading to a victory for the visitors at St James’ Park.

Facing a trip to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the rematch on Tuesday, the Lionesses now find themselves in third place in Group A3. While Wiegman praised the team’s overall effort, she stressed the need for improvement.

“It was quite frustrating,” she expressed to ITV Sport. “I believe we played quite well overall, but we gave up two goals from set pieces, which we need to address.”

“In these games, opportunities are scarce. We had several chances in the first half, but only converted one. France, unfortunately, was able to score once too,” she added.

Leah Williamson, the team captain, shared her disappointment, mentioning that the game was within their reach but slipped away. Reflecting on the match, she acknowledged the fans’ unwavering support and vowed to do better in the upcoming matches.

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