Chloe Kelly hadn’t scored an international goal for England but 110 minutes into the final of Euro 2022, all that changed as she pounced and slotted home the winner to defeat Germany in a hard-fought game 2-1.
A record 87,192 watched on at Wembley Stadium as England won their first major tournament since 1966.
Sarina Wiegman, who triumphed with the Netherlands at Euro 2017, named an unchanged team from the semi-finals. In doing so she became the first manager to name the same team for every game of a tournament. Germany’s Alexandra Popp, who was joint top scorer of the tournament, suffered an injury in the pre-match warm-up, ruling her out of the game.
It was a tense start to the game, but it was England who started the better. The first chance came four minutes in with Ellen White heading Fran Kirby’s cross goalward but was comfortably saved.
Germany threatened to take the lead 25 minutes in as a goalmouth scramble from a corner was eventually dealt with by England Goalkeeper Mary Earps.
The first half finished 0-0 with chances falling to both sides but neither able to finish them.
Germany had the first chance of the second half with Magull failing to hit the target but with just over an hour played, the ball fell to the feet of England’s Kiera Walsh who put Ella Toone through on goal.
Bearing down on goal with plenty of time to decide where she’d shoot, it would have been easy for Toone to overthink and make a mistake, instead Toone produced an audacious shot that lobbed the ball over the German keeper and sent Wembley into pandemonium for the first time in the night.
Germany responded with chances of their own including rattling the post, but with England 11 minutes from glory, a wonderfully executed goal finished off by Magull brought Germany level and sent the game into extra-time.
A typical cagey extra-time resulted in many being resigned to the idea that yet again, similar to the Men’s Euro final, it would be decided on penalties.
That was until Norfolk’s own Lauren Hemp- who played for Norwich City from 2008 to 2015- delivered a corner that resulted in the ball falling to Chloe Kelly to poke home and finally the England fans could begin to believe they’d done it.
With some excellent game management, the Lionesses saw out the game and Wembley went delirious.
56 years ago, when England last won a major tournament, Women weren’t even allowed to play football. Now, 56 years on, it’s the Women who have finally brought football home.