Women’s Euros: Football finally ‘comes home’ for England thanks to Toone and Kelly


Chloe Kelly and Ella Toone wrote themselves into English football history as Sarina Wiegman’s brilliant Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in a tension-packed Euro 2022 final.

Toone put England ahead at Wembley with a classy finish in the 62nd minute, but Germany struck for the visitors when Lina Magull equalized after 11 minutes of normal time.

It became the first women’s Euro final since 2001 to go to extra time. Germany beat Sweden with a late goal 21 years ago to win their fifth title and have added three more since then.

But Kelly made sure she wouldn’t be ninth at England’s national stadium, poking home the 110th-minute winner, ripping off her shirt and sprinting away in celebration. England have never won a senior European Championship, but after the men’s team came agonizingly close last year, the women, led by captain Leah Williamson, are going one better.

Germany suffered a crushing blow moments before kick-off when captain and six-goal top scorer Alexandra Popp was ruled out with a muscle injury, but they were robust without her.

England’s Ellen White and Germany’s Sara Daebritz threatened in the early stages before the home side had their best chance of a physical first half in the 38th minute when White Mead fired just over the bar from the right.

German substitute Tabea Wassmuth saved Mary Earps from a difficult angle early in the second half. Magull then speared just wide as England’s defense looked increasingly nervous.

But then came the breakthrough, with manager Wiegman sacrificing the experienced White and Fran Kirby for young guns Toone and Alessia Russo. Both scored crucial goals off the bench to help England reach the final and this time it was Toone with the heroics.

Keira Walsh looked up to see Toone on the run and pulled a great pass behind the German backline. Toone kept her cool to lob Frohms from the edge of the penalty area.

Germany almost hit back when Magull, coming in from the right, crashed a shot against the right post, while England lost Mead to injury, meaning she and Popp shared the golden boot.

The warning signs were in place and Magull equalized in the 79th minute when she slotted in Wassmuth’s low cross from the right.

Tension and fatigue prevailed in overtime, with each team desperate for just one chance. And in the 110th minute one fell to Kelly. Lauren Hemp’s fierce corner from the right caused chaos and Kelly struck from close range. England briefly thought it wasn’t allowed but it was fine and Wembley roared. This time it was a homecoming.

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