International Fixtures

Ella Toone Leads England Women to win EURO 2022

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The England national team won the UEFA 2022 Women’s EURO in an intense and fairly even final at Wembley last Sunday against Germany. This affair saw Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly scoring for England, and Lina Magull scoring for the German side.

The tournament hosts secured their first ever senior women’s major trophy by defeating record eight time-champions Germany by 2-1 in extra-time. A record crowd of over it 87,000 saw the match in arguably the most famous football stadium in the world. One can only hope that this great tournament, which has not only seen far more spectators than any previous Women’s EURO but also showcased a great level of play, will also serve to break stereotypes about the women’s game in Europe and around the world.

England coach Sarina Wiegman had the same eleven start in the final, that she had used all tournament long. Her German counterpart, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg on the other hand, made a number of lineup changes during the EUROs, most of which were enforced. After the attacking winger, Klara Bühl had tested positive for COVID-19 before the semifinals, the Germans had to deal with an even bigger shock ahead of the title game: missing their talismanic captain and leading tournament goal scorer Alexandra Popp, due to an injury obtained during the pre-match warm-up.

England Women’s Ella Toone Leads Team to Victory

That news might have affected the spirits of the German side, as England arguably got off to a better start. Yet, the first half ended in a hard-fought and ultimately balanced scoreless draw.

Germany started the second half the more determined of the two teams, especially as Tabea Wassmuth replaced the disappointing Jule Brand at the break. Nonetheless, it was the Lionesses, who took the lead from a counterattack finished off by Ella Toone in the 62nd minute.

Then the Germans really pushed forward, ultimately equalizing through Lina Magull in the 79th. This is the way regulation time ended. Chloe Kelly scored the goal that put the vast majority of the crowd into ecstasy with 20 minutes of extra-time played. For the remaining 10 minutes, England held on to the ball and wasted as much time as possible, so that Germany never came close to threatening the hosts’ goal again.

The Germans congratulated their English opponents on the victory, though they could not keep quiet about their disappointment with the refereeing crew. They felt that they should have had a penalty in the first half and were also unhappy with a number of other refereeing decisions as well.

But in spite of the loss, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side played a great tournament, and advertised the women’s game to their country and around the world, like the English did as well.

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Denis Knezovic is a longtime football/soccer writer, as well as a published author.
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Twitter: @KnezovicDenis

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