England are European champions. Which sentence.
The Lionesses beat an eight-time European champion German side, shaking off the long-standing hoodoo they had held onto with a 2-1 win after extra time.
Chloe Kelly was the hero as she sent the ball into the net after Lina Magull canceled out Ella Toone’s opener.
Of the 27 encounters between the sides in 38 years, England had lost ties between the countries 21 times – winning just twice and drawing the other four – including the Euro 2009 final defeat.
But when it mattered most on Sunday, as the Lionesses took to the stage in front of a record crowd of 87,192 – the highest of any European Championship game, men or women – Sarina Wiegman’s side shook their heads. old adversaries.
After a scrappy and spirited first half in which England striker Ellen White failed to convert from close range with a header, the deadlock was finally broken.
As the match entered the hour mark, super substitute Ella Toone raced a deft ball over Kiera Walsh before showing great composure to delicately lift her effort over the header from Merle Frohms to make it 1-0.
“What a great under Toone has been. It was the first time I felt like England were capable of breaking through,” said former England striker Lianne Sanderson and talkSPORT co-commentator.
Germany – who suffered a blow when they lost co-tournament top scorer Alexandra Popp in the warm-up to injury, quickly quashed Toone’s effort – however.
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Sydney Lohmann found Tabea Wassmuth inside the box, which was not shut down quickly enough before firing over a low cross. Lina Magull then crossed Bright to finish well at the near post.
“You can never write off Germany,” said talkSPORT co-commentator Sam Matterface.
Despite pressure from both sides, the game went into overtime.
Germany had the best of luck as 100 minutes ticked on the clock.
But then, England came to life.
A delicious Lauren Hemp corner resulted in a scramble in the box, with Jill Scott trying to force her way through.
And then the hero of the hour, substitute Chloe Kelly – who had never scored an international goal – leapt forward, swinging her foot and rolling the ball past the shocked German to put England 2-1 up and send Wembley wild.
England’s maiden European Championship win illustrates how groundbreaking this tournament has been for women’s football, with the Lionesses proving they are well worthy of the recognition.
“Dinosaurs will be left behind,” Sanderson said of the growth of women’s football in this country as the game drew to a close.
“That’s where it happens.”
After catching her breath after the celebrations, match winner Kelly – who had only returned from an ACL injury in the spring – said: “Oh my god. It’s amazing, look at them! It’s amazing, honestly.
“Thank you to everyone who came out to support us. It’s unreal.
“That’s what dreams are made of. As a young girl watching football, and now this. It’s incredible.
“Thank you to everyone who played a role in my rehabilitation. I always believed that I would be here, but to be here as a winner, wow. These girls are special. They are a special group of staff. This is unbelievable.”
England’s Euro win marks the second of her managerial career for Sarina Wiegman after winning it with the Netherlands in 2017.
When asked what makes his team so special, Wiegman replied, “Do you have half an hour?
“If you really want to win, if you really want to improve every day, then my job is easy. It’s amazing. We agreed on a few things about behavior and we lived it.
“The match was so close with Germany, but who cares? We won 2-1 and we are European champions.