The town was once again gripped by Euro 2022 fever on Thursday evening as AESSEAL New York Stadium welcomed France and Belgium in a Group D clash which would see Les Blues record their second success - this time a 2-1 win - in as many games in their temporary Rotherham home.
Having already successfully seen off Italy in this stadium’s opening fixture, Corinne Diacre’s side started brightly and were rewarded for their early enthusiasm when Kadidiatou Diani struck after just six minutes.
Despite their dominance, Belgium restored parity on 36 minutes after a fine breakaway move down the middle. Janice Cayman prodded the ball home to make it 1-1 following a swashbuckling move.
However, the lead was short-lived after a set-piece situation was recovered well, Clara Mateo centred a dangerous ball in from the right which allowed Griedge Mbock Bathy to power home a header from close range.
France were the side applying the pressure after the restart but good chances came and went as Belgium showed good resilience to ensure the deficit remained at just a single goal into the final 20 minutes of the tie.
Ives Serneels' Belgium outfit grew into the game as the second half elapsed and were certainly the side in the ascendency as the clash neared its conclusion.
There was only one team attacking as the match moved into the final 10 minutes, but for all of their effort and endeavour, they couldn't find a way through a resilient French defence and were powerless to resist the Blues adding their second win of the group stages.
French skipper Wendy Renard was forced into a hasty clearance in the box when a dangerous-looking Belgium cross caused confusion, before the leaders were able to clear their lines in no-nonsense fashion.
Les Blues were handed the opportunity to put themselves out of sight in the dying embers of the game when Grace Geyoro pounced at the back post on a loose ball, where her goalbound effort was deemed to have been illegally blocked by Amber Tysiak - who upon review was dealt a red card, adding to the punishment of the awarding of the penalty.
That opportunity was not taken though as Renard stepped up but had her first effort saved from the spot by Nicky Evrard, before she failed to slot the ball into the back of an empty net as she followed up the rebound.
The miss wouldn't prove costly though as France saw out the five additional minute that followed with a professional showing to preserve their 100% tournament record in South Yorkshire.
Attendance | 8,173