England Women make history at Wembley, winning their first ever European Championship against old rivals Germany
England Women make history at Wembley, winning their first ever European Championship against old rivals Germany.
The Lionesses have captured the hearts of the nation this summer, through their spectacular run to the 2022 UEFA European Women’s Football Championship Final. As the underdogs in this contest, with Germany looking to gain their ninth European title, Sarina Wiegman’s side showed spirit and determination to conquer their historic rivals and gain their first ever European Championship in front of 87,000 at Wembley Stadium.
Germany was without their talisman Alexandra Popp who picked up a muscular injury during the warm-up. This was a huge blow for Germany and Popp, who before this fixture, was tied with England’s Beth Mead for the Golden Boot, but a relief for the English defence.
England created numerous chances from the off, with Beth Mead getting herself onto the German by-line from a magnificent through ball by Kiera Walsh inside the first five minutes. Lucy Bronze posed a threat in the Germany box as her powerful header was saved by Merle Frohms after another stunning effort from Georgia Stanway. England No 9 Ellen White was a constant torment in the Germany box and lead the pressure on Germany as England continued to create numerous chances in the first half.
Into the first half, Germany began to apply pressure against England as defensive efforts from Leah Williamson and Rachel Daly forced a strong save by Mary Earps to deny Marina Hegering an equaliser, after a late scramble within the England box. Moments later, claims for a handball in the Germany box were waved away as Stanway was brought down in the area by Sara Dabritz.
As the pressure continued, there was further calls for an England penalty as a strong tackle from Hegering brought down Lucy Bronze in the box. VAR reviewed the incident as once again the opportunity for a penalty was quickly ruled out. England continued to mount the pressure as half time approached however the score line remained goalless after 45 minutes.
Germany started the second half strong as mistakes from English defensive duo Millie Bright and Lucy Bronze, pathed way for an early close-range effort from Tabea Wassmuth. Both sides fought for their chances, but it was England who eventually broke the deadlock on the hour mark, with a stunning chip from substitute Ella Toone. Germany was quick to respond as a long-range strike from Lina Magull hit the post with Lea Schuller available for the rebound which was gratefully received by Earps. England were lacking concentration in the final 15 minutes as Germany quickly gained the equaliser, as an unmarked Magull fired the ball past Earps with a stunning one touch finish. England could not counter as the score line was 1-1 after 90 minutes at Wembley.
Neither side created many obvious chances within the first half of extra time. England lacked the ability to apply pressure into the second half until a scramble in Germany box allowed substitute Chloe Kelly to fire the ball into the back of the net on her second attempt. From this moment on, Germany was unable to get out of their own half as England continued to pressure the German defence.
As the final whistle blew, Wembley roared with cheers of support for the Lionesses as Sarina Wiegman’s side won their first ever European Championship and continue their unbeaten record under the Dutch football manager.