England crowned the Euro 2022 champion with a 2-1 victory over Germany
England’s women’s soccer team won their first major title after beating Germany 2-1 in extra time in the sold-out Euro 2022 final.
The two teams entered the first half with a 0-0 scoreline after the first 45 minutes saw half a chance. But after just an hour of play, substitute Ella Toone caught the long ball from Keira Walsh and put England ahead with a delicate lob over the head of the German keeper.
Germany broke the post moments later and, with the first 10 minutes, leveled with a sensible move that was ended by midfielder Lina Magull.
The match then went to extra time, both teams were tired and tense. But with a penalty in the 10th minute, Chloe Kelly let the ball loose for the first time after England’s corner, and crashed straight into the home team’s goal from 2m.
“Honestly, it’s amazing,” Kelly told the BBC shortly after the final whistle. “This is what dreams are made of.”
Lionesses’ success held a grudge against the host country, with more than 11 million people watching the semi-final. The German advancement has also attracted a large domestic television audience, with more than 12 million followers their semi-final victory against France on Wednesday.
Match attendance also broke records – surpassing 480,000 during the semi-finals, more than double the number of people who attended Euro 2019 matches in the Netherlands. The 87,192 people who watched the final inside Wembley also made history, marking the largest attendance for any Euro match – men’s or women’s.
Sunday’s match featured the Euro 2009 final, in which Germany beat England 6-2. In the years since, money has poured into games in the UK, with the Women’s Super League launching in 2011 and turning pro in 2018.
England went unbeaten in their last 19 games under Dutch manager Sarina Wiegman, scoring 104 goals and conceding just four. The whole team looked very confident throughout the tournament. The Lions made it through the group stages, including an 8-0 win over Norway, but needed extra time to beat Spain 2-1 in the quarter-finals.
Wiegman has now won back the Euro championships, first with the Netherlands, now with England. Asked by the BBC after the match what her secret was, Wiegman replied: “I don’t have any secrets. I am very open. I don’t think I realize what’s going on. I need some time. “
However, they secured their spot in the final, beating Sweden 4-0, Europe’s highest-ranked team, in front of more than 28,000 people at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.
Germany’s hopes of scoring a ninth Euro title were dealt a blow just minutes before kick-off when captain and top scorer Alexandra Popp was ruled out after picking up an injury during the warm-up. Popp, 31, has scored in Germany’s every game at Euro 2022.