England women’s football team clinched their first major trophy after beating Germany 2-1 in extra time in the Euro 2022 final.
Even after the first 45 minutes the teams went 0–0 at half-time, with some half-chance. But just after the hour, substitute Ella Toon caught a length ball from Keira Walsh and put England ahead with a delicate lob on the German goalkeeper.
Germany dodged the post moments later and, with 10 minutes to go, went level with a well-worked move that was eliminated by midfielder Lena Magul.
The game then went into extra time, with both teams looking tired and stretched. But with a penalty 10 minutes away, Chloe Kelly was on a loose ball first after an England corner, and stabbed home from two yards.
“Honestly it’s amazing,” Kelly told the BBC just after the final whistle. “this is what dreams are made of.”
The success of Lioness has gripped the host nation, with over 11 million people watching the semi-finals. Germany’s progress has also drawn domestic TV viewers, with more than 12 million tuning in for their semi-final win against France on Wednesday.
Attendance at matches has also broken records – more than 480,000 during the semi-finals, more than double the number of people going to games at Euro 2019 in the Netherlands. The 87,192 people who watched the final inside Wembley also made history, the largest attendance for any Euro match – male or female.
Sunday’s contest was a re-run of the Euro 2009 final, in which Germany beat England 6–2. In the years since the Women’s Super League began in 2011 and turned professional in 2018, money has poured into the English game.
England, led by Dutch coach Sarina Wigman, entered the final in 19 matches unbeaten, scoring 104 goals and conceding just four. The team looked confident throughout the tournament. The Lionesses achieved success in the group stages, including an 8–0 victory over Northern Ireland, but needed extra time to beat Spain 2–1 in the quarterfinals.
However, they made it to the final after beating Sweden, Europe’s highest-ranked team, 4–0 in front of over 28,000 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.
Germany’s hopes of securing a ninth Euro title were dealt a significant blow minutes before kick-off when captain and top scorer Alexandra Pope was ruled out after suffering an injury during practice. Pope, 31, had scored in every single Germany game at Euro 2022, and ended the tournament sharing the Golden Boot with England’s Beth Mead – both of whom scored six goals.