Germany endured a painful end to their incredible 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO campaign, as England scored in extra time to secure a 2-1 win in front of 87,192 fans at the final in Wembley. It’s the first time the DFB-Frauen have lost in a European final, having lifted the trophy on each of the previous eight occasions. Lina Magull’s goal in the 79th minute cancelled out the opener from Ella Toone around the hour mark to force extra time, but Chloe Kelly stabbed home from a set-piece in the 111th minute to secure victory for England.
Head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was forced to make a late change to her line-up when Alexandra Popp suffered a muscular problem in the warm-up. Lea Schüller was chosen as her replacement, getting her first minutes since being ruled out with Covid-19 after the opening group game. Otherwise, it was the same team that started against France in the semis.
The Lionesses started strongly and Ellen White’s header at the back post forced a first save from Merle Frohms (3’). Germany struggled to keep hold of the ball in the early stages but did finally create a first opportunity after ten minutes, only for Sara Däbritz’s shot to be blocked by Lucy Bronze.
Germany, captained by Svenja Huth in Popp’s absence, were growing into the game more, though England continued to have the edge. Bronze caused yet more danger from a set-piece, with a header requiring a save from Frohms (19’). Mistakes kept on appearing in the German build-up play, allowing England to win the ball back too easily at times.
When the DFB-Frauen were able to work the ball into the final third, they looked threatening. Jule Brand drove into the box and won a corner from her cross. The set-piece led to a flurry in the box and almost the opener from Marina Hegering, but she wasn’t able to force the ball in (25’). At the other end, White found an opening and took aim from around 16 yards, however, her shot was always rising (37’).
Tabea Waßmuth was introduced for Brand at half time and she almost made an immediate impact, getting in behind, before her shot from an angle was kept out by Mary Earps (48’). A second golden opportunity wasn’t far behind, this time for Magull, but she fired inches wide of the target (49’). The game was now taking place more in England’s half, with the hosts looking a little nervous on the ball.
Another counterattack almost had Schüller away, but she was just shy of getting on the end Waßmuth’s pass (57’). A few minutes later, England were celebrating the opener. A long ball over the top found Toone beyond the back line and she lobbed the ball over the onrushing Frohms to make it 1-0 (62’). Magull almost delivered the perfect response, drilling a powerful shot onto the woodwork, while the rebound from Schüller was gathered by the goalkeeper (66’).
Schüller made way for Nicole Anyomi in the 67th minute and the Lionesses looked to preserve their lead as Germany sought to pile on the pressure, which was upped even more when Sydney Lohmann was brought into the contest in the 73rd minute for Däbritz. Giulia Gwinn’s cross agonisingly slipped past players in the centre (75’) and Magull’s shot was blocked away in the penalty area with some last-ditch defending (78’).
Germany were finally rewarded for their spell of pressure when Magull turned the ball home inside the six-yard box from a Waßmuth cross (79’) The game then petered out as both teams looked to avoid making costly errors before the final whistle.
Linda Dallmann provided a pair of fresh legs as the game went into extra time. It was understandably cagey and both sides were reluctant to take risks, but Germany were looking the more likely to score. Sara Doorsoun was brought on for Marina Hegering in the 103rd minute. The game remained understandably tight and both sides couldn’t create anything clear-cut. It was England’s Kelly, however, who seized the moment, when she got on the end of a loose ball following a set piece to give the hosts a 2-1 lead (111’). Dallman found the side netting (114’) and Frohms made a strong save from Alessia Russo (117’), but that proved to be the final action of the game as England prevailed in a tight contest.###more###