After the men’s team came up short last year, the women’s team cheered up English fans by winning their first ever Euro title after a night full of drama at the Wembley stadium on Sunday.
A beautiful finish by Ella Toone put the Lionesses ahead in the 62nd minute only six minutes after her introduction. The Manchester United forward went clear of the last defender after being found by an incredibly well-cut-out 45-yard through ball from City’s Walsh and she showed great composure to chip the ball over German goalkeeper Merle Frohms. However, their lead was canceled out by German midfielder Lina Magull who fired home the equalizer in the 79th minute.
With the game ending squarely at full time, both teams had to go on to extra time. The 30-minute extra time was played by both sides keeping their respective defenses reasonably composed.
In the 110th minute, however, substitute Chloe Kelly who came on earlier in the 64th minute in place of player of the tournament Mead, poked home a loosed ball from a corner to secure the much-anticipated win for the English side. The record crowd of 87,192 was sent into a frenzy after Chloe’s goal with just ten minutes left to play in extra time.
The Lionesses held on to the win for the rest of the game and wild celebrations ensued on the pitch as well from the stans as referee Kateryna Monzul blew the whistle to end the thrilling encounter between the rivals.
First major title in 56 years
The victory over Germany means the country’s first major title in 56 years since the men’s senior team won the world cup in 1966 on home soil. This Sarima Wiegman’s side had done what no other team, male and female could have done since then, after an impressive tournament from the side scoring 22 goals and conceding just twice.
56 years of heartbreak is finally over.
Appearing on the BBC’s coverage of the match as a pundit, former English player Ian Wright said: “I can’t put into words how much work has gone into this and they’re getting what they deserve.
“I’m so proud, I can’t believe it! I’m still a bit shocked by it.
“She (Wiegman) has used that XI through the whole of the tournament but the people that are coming on know that they’ve got a role to play and they’re happy to come off the bench and play their role.
Every single player has played a part. It hurts (to lose a final). I walked past the trophy in 2009 and it stayed with me forever. I’m so happy.”
“We will party!”
The coach of the side, Sarina Wiegman, who has now won back-to-back European women’s championships after guiding her home country The Netherlands to winning the title in 2017 told BBC Sports
“I don’t have any secrets,” she said, after an impressive tournament by her team
“I don’t think I realize what’s going on – I need some time.
“Now we have won the Euros the expectation will go up again. First, we will party.”
Wiegman also hopes this may be a source of inspiration to the younger generation of players
“During our preparation for the Euros we brought in some players who played in 1971,” she added.
“We should always remember the ones who went before us because they made a path for us. This team makes a path for the next generation.”
Lucy Bronze, a player on the team said the focus is now on the world cup which will be held in Australia and Newzealand next year
“This will probably sink in at the end of my career,” added Bronze, who has played for the Lionesses since 2013.
“The younger players probably think this [winning trophies] is normal. We have got to go and win the World Cup now.”
“I can’t stop crying”
The captain of the side, Leah Williamson also commented
“I can’t stop crying. We talk and we talk and we’ve finally done it,” the Arsenal player told BBC Sport.
“It’s the proudest moment of my life. I’m taking in every single second because I’ll want to relive this for a long time.
She was named England captain for Euro 2022 in April
“The legacy of this tournament is a change in society. We have brought people together, brought people to games. We want people at WSL games,” she added
The Queen sends tributes to the Lionesses
Shortly after the victory of the Lionesses, the Queen sends a message congratulating the team
“My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Championships,” the statement from the UK monarch said.
“It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff.
“The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise. However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned.
“You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.
“It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today,” the Queen added.