Euro 2022: England's strength in depth breaks German aura of invincibility

An England football team claimed its first international tournament for nearly 60 years when the women's side overcame Germany 2-1 to win the 2022 European championships.

England started brightly in front of a fiercely partisan crowd of 87,000 at Wembley against a side that lost skipper and six-goal top scorer Alex Popp during the warm-up.

Ellen White-headed straight at goalkeeper Merle Frohms after only two minutes and the hosts remained menacing.

But they lost concentration midway through the first half.

Georgia Stanway and White were booked within a minute of each other as their discipline went awry.

But defender Millie Bright was focused. The 28-year-old hooked off the line in a goalmouth scramble in the England penalty area as Germany threatened to open the scoring.


White should have hit the target seven minutes before the pause. But the striker sliced over the bar from Beth Mead's cutback.

Germany, seeking a record-extending ninth European title, started the second half positively.

Three minutes after the restart, Tabea Wassmuth raced clear on goal down the left but shot straight at goalkeeper Mary Earps.

And two minutes later, Lina Magull stabbed just wide of the post with Earps beaten.

But it was England who made the breakthrough after 62 minutes. Keira Walsh sent substitute Ella Toone to free on goal and as Frohms came out, Toone lobbed the ball over her into the empty net for her second goal of the tournament.


Germany boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg sent on Nicole Anyomi and Sydney Lohmann to add more zip into their midfield and attacks.

And it was Lohmann who linked up with Wassmuth down the right to set up Magull's equalizer 11 minutes from time.

The Germans finished regulation time looking the more likely to snatch the late winner.

Into extra-time and England appeared the more sapped of the two sides and they did not help their cause by giving the ball away on the rare occasions when they had possession.

In the final 15 minutes, nerves were apparent. England's Chloe Kelly urged the crowd to make some noise as Lucy Hemp prepared to take a corner. They roared their encouragement.


And in the ensuing goalmouth scramble from the kick, Kelly stabbed home for her first international goal. The din intensified.

There were nine minutes left.

Sarina Wiegman's team opted to kill off the game with some ugly play down the right wing.

It was effective and handed the Dutch coach her second European crown five years after leading the Netherlands to the title in 2017.

Kelly, who returned from a serious knee injury in April, told British broadcaster BBC: "It's amazing. To come back from injury and score the winner in the final."

The Duke of Cambridge, the president of the English FA, was among the dignitaries, at the presentation ceremony.

Mead claimed the player of the tournament award while Germany's 20-year-old midfielder Lena Oberdorf took the honor as the young player of the competition.

But it was skipper Leah Williamson who hoisted the biggest prize of all.

Bobby Moore was the last captain of an England team to enjoy such a privilege.

Sarina Wiegman’s team lifted the trophy after an epic 2-1 extra-time victory at Wembley.

England stars celebrated their Euro 2022 win in style
England stars celebrated their Euro 2022 win in styleCredit: Instagram @1maryearps
Players partied into the night in wild scenes
Players partied into the night in wild scenesCredit: Instagram @leahwilliamsonn

Stars necked beers in a dressing room disco before belting out “It’s Coming Home” during a press-conference invasion.

Jubilant players danced and sang the night away as several showed off their best moves in heart-warming scenes.

Of course, the Euro trophy took center stage in the changing room.

And the Lionesses made sure not to get too close with their party.

Goalkeeper Mary Earps looked to be having a ball after making several big saves.

She took a huge bite of her medal while flashing a cheeky grin at the camera.

Meanwhile, goal scorer Ella Toone showed off her medal to the camera.

A caption added: “Best day of my life. Thanks for all the messages! Get back to you tomorrow.

Stars danced in the changing room as they necked beers in celebration
Stars danced in the changing room as they necked beers in celebrationCredit: Instagram @leahwilliamsonn
The Lionesses were in jubilant mood after their win
The Lionesses were in jubilant mood after their winCredit: Instagram @leahwilliamsonn
They sang 'It's Coming Home' after invading the post-match press conference
They sang 'It's Coming Home' after invading the post-match press conferenceCredit: The Sun
Goalscorer Ella Toone showed off her winner's medal
Goalscorer Ella Toone showed off her winner's medalCredit: Instagram @ellatoone

“Not ignoring people am just having a ball.”

Captain Leah Williamson posted a raucous video of her teammates letting loose in the changing room.

England stars looked to be having the time of their lives as they sang along with the music.

They then decided to invade Wiegman’s press conference, singing the epic song “It’s Coming Home” before waltzing back to the dressing room.

The England boss gave an emotional talk after overcoming the death of her sister just weeks before the tournament.

Wiegman said: “I kissed this little arm band that was my sister’s. She passed away during our prep camps.

Goalie Mary Earps led the raucous celebrations at Wembley
Goalie Mary Earps led the raucous celebrations at WembleyCredit: Instagram @1maryearps
Earps had a chomp on her medal to make sure it was real
Earps had a chomp on her medal to make sure it was realCredit: Instagram @1maryearps

“That was a big miss, she was my mate, and she was on the crossbar today.

She would have been here. I’m really proud of her.”

“For the first time in years, I had a beer. I don’t like it but I enjoyed it. First, we will party. I am really pleased how we accomplished it.”

Williamson added: "I just can't stop crying. With something like this, we talk and talk, and we did it. It's about doing it on the pitch and I tell you what, the kids are alright.

"It's the proudest moment of my life - until the day I have kids I suppose. I am going to lap it up.

"Every single piece of advice I got was to take every single second in because you're going to want to relive it over and over and I'll be reliving that for a long time.

"The legacy of this tournament is a change in society. It's everything we've done.

“We've bought everyone together. We've got people to come to games and we want them to come to WSL games but the legacy of this team is winners and this is the start of the journey."

England has changed society with their win in the Women's European Championship, coach Sarina Wiegman said after leading the Lionesses to their first ever major title on Sunday, which sparked scenes of jubilation up and down the country.

Wiegman's side beat eight-time champions Germany 2-1 after extra time at Wembley Stadium in front of a record crowd (87,912) in a tournament that smashed records from one week to the next and garnered huge media coverage in Europe.

The entire attendance record for a Women's Euros was beaten halfway through the tournament in England and the host nation was ever-present on the front pages of newspapers as they reached their third major final, finally getting over the line.

"I think we really made a change. I think this tournament has done so much for the game but also for society and women in society in England but I also think in Europe and across the world and I hope that will make a (bigger) change too," Wiegman told a news conference shortly after it had been interrupted by the team coming in, dancing and singing around her.

"It's really, really nice to see what we saw today when we came into the stadium how enthusiastic everyone was and how the fans have stood behind us."

Wiegman led her native Netherlands to the previous Euros title in 2017 and took over England in September last year, transforming the side into a winning machine, as they have not lost yet under the Dutchwoman.

They came into the tournament as heavy favorites but among a crowded field and were put to the test by serial winners Germany, who came back from a goal down in a physically demanding final to take it to extra time.

However, it was one of Wiegman's astute substitutions, an ever-present of England's run to the final, Manchester City forward Chloe Kelly, who popped up with the winning goal.


The coach conceded that expectations were tremendously high for England.

They had not tasted success in either men's or women's football since the 1966 men's World Cup final, an extra-time win over West Germany at a time when women's football was banned in England.

But she would not be drawn on whether they could now push on to challenge for the World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand next year, insisting now was the time to let their hair down.

"So, now we won the Euros now the expectations will go through the roof again! First, we’ve got to party. We are really proud of ourselves for how we accomplished it. We have all seen the development of this game has gone so fast that many countries could win this tournament," she said.

"It's not easy to win this tournament. And that’s going to be the same at the World Cup next year... But now it’s time to party and then we will have some time off and then we’re going to prepare for the World Cup qualification and then the World Cup and hopefully, we’ll do well."

Wiegman suffered tragedy in the build-up to the Euros with the death of her sister in June. She was seen kissing her arm after the final whistle and said it was in tribute to her sibling.

"I’m kissing this little armband (bracelet), it was my sister’s and she passed away during the build-up to the tournament," Wiegman said. "I think she was here she was in the crossbar. She would have been here, she would have been really proud of me and I am proud of her too."

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