England beat Germany 2-1 in the European Championship final after extra time on Sunday to claim their first major women’s soccer title.
Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal in a rebound in the second half of extra time after Germany failed to take the corner. The match ended 1-1 after 90 minutes at Wembley Stadium when Germany’s Lina Magull destroyed Ella Toone’s goal for England.
After the final whistle, the England players danced and the crowd sang “Sweet Caroline”. The friendly atmosphere inside Sunday’s stadium contrasted with scenes of violence when England’s men’s team lost the European Championship final to Italy at the same stadium a year ago.
The tournament’s record crowd of more than 87,000 has underscored the growth of women’s football in Europe since England and Germany last played for a continental title 13 years ago.
Taking that opportunity, Germany went ahead to win 6-2 against England, which was still dependent on part-time players. Two years later, England launched the Women’s Super League, which professionalized the game and developed into one of the major leagues worldwide.
That means growing competition for Germany, which is a pioneer in European women’s football and increasingly faces well-funded rivals in the UK, Spain and France.
Ella Toone received a long pass from Keira Walsh to break through the German defense in the 62nd minute and toss a deft lob past goalkeeper Merle Frohms, opening the scoring.
Toone’s goal, six minutes after she came on from the bench, sparked celebrations as England coach Sarina Wiegman – the winner with the Netherlands in 2017 – raised his hand. hands up for joy.
Facing their first defeat in nine European finals, Germany came close as Lea Schuller headed into the post and then leveled in the 79th minute when Lina Magull shot a diagonal shot past goalkeeper Mary. Earps of England, bringing the game into extra time.
As the game entered extra time, the echoes of another European Championship final at the same venue the year before, when England’s men’s team led 1-0 but lost on penalties to Italy.
Germany are without captain Alexandra Popp – the team’s top scorer with six goals – after she reported a muscle problem during the warm-up. She was replaced in the squad by Schuller while Svenja Huth took over as captain.