Sports

Ella Toone’s final goal and thrashing Norway – top 10 moments of England’s Euro 2022 tournament win

The 2022 European Championship is over, but the enthusiasm injected into the sport means this event will become a landmark moment for women’s football.

It was the ladies that finally brought football home and they did it by beating the record eight-time champions Germany 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday night.

While the achievements of England’s women’s football team will be celebrated for decades, it’s the memories that make for the indelible moments. Below, Sportsmail runs you through the top 10 moments of the Lionesses’ incredible triumph.

England lifted the European Championship trophy after beating Germany 2-1 on Sunday

England lifted the European Championship trophy after beating Germany 2-1 on Sunday

Russo’s backheel

The Lionesses romped to a 4-0 victory in their semi-final against Sweden, but the pick of the goals came via Alessia Russo. 

Manchester United star Russo missed a great opportunity with the goal at her mercy by firing straight at Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

But the 23-year-old reacted first to the rebound, used her strength to fend off the defender and executed an audacious backheel that nutmegged the dumbfounded ‘keeper in a moment that shocked the world.

Below, Sportsmail runs through the top 10 moments of the Lionesses' victorious campaign

Striker Alessia Russo’s executed a brilliant backheel against Sweden in the semi-final

Subs to the rescue against Spain

The closest England came to crashing out of the Euros came in their quarter-final clash with Spain. After struggling for possession in the first-half, the Lionesses were lucky to make it to the break still all square.

But Esther Gonzalez’s goal really sent nerves around England supporters and put them behind in a critical knockout game. Luckily for the Lionesses, Sarina Wiegman plan was about to kick into action.

The introductions of Lucy Toone, Alessia Russo and Chloe Kelly just after half-time eventually changed the tide for Wiegman’s ladies. 

Russo and Toone combined for the latter to score a late equaliser to take the game into extra time, before Georgia Stanway scored a stunning, rising effort to seal the win. 

Not only had England shown they could beat the teams considered among the favourites before the tournament, but also that they could battle through adversity, albeit being roared on by a delirious crowd.

Unbridled joy and sports bras

Chloe Kelly scored a history-making goal in extra time against Germany to win the Women’s European Championships and she celebrated by taking her shirt off and swinging it around over her head with delight.

It will no doubt become the iconic image of the tournament in the years to come and was plastered all over the front pages of the British press on Monday morning. 

But more famously the celebration echoed former US star Brandi Chastain, who tore off her shirt, and sunk to her knees in celebration in a black sports bra after scoring the winning penalty in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final against China. 

‘I see you,’ Chastain, 54, tweeted Kelly moments after the final whistle.

Chloe Kelly's 'sports bra' celebration after scoring in the final at Wembley was instantly iconic

Chloe Kelly’s ‘sports bra’ celebration after scoring in the final at Wembley was instantly iconic

Ella Toone’s ’10 out of 10′ goal 

It’s one of the biggest cliches going but it’s always in the tight, cagey moments that you need your most talented players to produce some sort of magic. Luckily when the situation demanded it, England’s players stepped up at Wembley.

With the final locked at 0-0 after an hour, Keira Walsh looked up, heard team-mate Toone call for the ball over the top and slammed a wonderfully weighted through ball into her path.

With defenders chasing and the goalkeeper coming out, the Manchester United star took her time, took a touch to set herself and deftly dinked the ball over Merle Frohms.

Men’s star Raheem Sterling – who knows a thing or two about ruthless finishing in an England shirt – quickly tweeted: ‘Composure 10/10… what a finish.’

Harry Kane also tweeted ‘take a bow for that finish too,’ to which Toone jokingly replied: ‘I taught him that!’

Demolishing Norway in the group 

After limping past Austria 1-0 in the first match of the tournament, the pressure was on the hosts as they faced Norway, on paper a genuine threat and the toughest game of the group.

But England demolished former Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and Co, racing to 6-0 up at half-time before adding a further two without reply after the break.

It was a statement of intent from the Lionesses. 

Jill Scott’s angry rant 

Imposing midfielder Jill Scott was caught on camera swearing at Germany’s Sydney Lohmann after being fouled in the final, telling her opponent to ‘f*** off’.

BBC commentator Robyn Cowen apologised live on air, saying: ‘Apologies to any lip readers. Not sure you need to be one to figure out what Jill Scott thought of that.’ 

It proved England’s grit and determination to win in brilliant style. 

England's Jill Scott (centre) was caught swearing at Germany's Sydney Lohmann (left) after being fouled in the final

England’s Jill Scott (centre) was caught swearing at Germany’s Sydney Lohmann (left) after being fouled in the final

Dancing on the table 

How else to interrupt manager Sarina Wiegman’s post-match press conference than with an acapella rendition of traditional England football anthem ‘It’s Coming Home’?

The whole team burst in, gatecrashing Wiegman’s interview, before dancing around joyfully in brilliant scenes. 

Those in the room at the time will never forget that. 

Mead’s family watch on 

Among the several thousands of delirious fans watching Lionesses forward Beth Mead pick up the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament awards at Wembley were her dad and brother.

Mead edged Germany’s Alexandra Popp to the scoring award, despite both players finishing on six goals, with the Arsenal forward claiming five assists in the tournament too, which was more than Popp.

The pair of them, both wearing ‘Mead 7’ shirts, held hands with pride and presumably, a lump in their throats, especially following her Olympics snub last year.

‘I can’t believe it,’ she told BBC Sport. ‘Sometimes football puts you down, but bouncing back is the best way. I’m speechless, I can’t take it all in… I’m in shock.

‘I’ve had a good cry with my mum and dad. I am so proud of this team, I love this team and I love this country!’

Ian Wright’s impassioned speech 

The legendary former Arsenal and England striker has been a loud and proud advocate for women’s football for a long time and continued that throughout this tournament.

After his riposte to Lord Alan Sugar’s comment about men covering the women’s Euros, he came up with another passionate speech after England’s dramatic semi-final win.

He said on the BBC: ‘Whatever happens in the final now, if girls are not allowed to play football just like the boys can in their P.E. after this tournament then what are we doing?

‘We’ve got to make sure that they are able to play and get the opportunity to do this because it’s going to inspire a lot of people. If there’s no legacy to this, like what we saw with the [2012] Olympics, if there’s no legacy after this then what are we doing?’ 

Oh Wrighty, how we treasure you. 

Finally lifting the trophy in the moment of victory

Just before 8pm on Sunday, England captain Leah Williamson still hadn’t quite processed what had happened.

‘I just can’t stop crying,’ she said on BBC One. ‘Something like this, we talk and we talk and we talk and we finally did it. It’s about doing it on the pitch and I’ll tell you what, the kids are alright.

‘It is the proudest moment of my life. I am taking everything in, every piece of advice I had was to take every single second in, so I can relive it for ever. I’ll be reliving that for a long time.

‘The legacy of this tournament is the change in society. The legacy of this team is winners. I love every single one of you (the fans). I’m so proud to be English. I’m trying hard not to swear.’

Swear she didn’t, and she regained her composure to be able to lift the trophy aloft in front of a packed Wembley, heralding the start of a new era of women’s football. 

It could quite simply be a turning point for the sport in this country. 




Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button