The English women succeed in what the men’s team failed to do in ten attempts – they become European champions

England are crowned European champions at Wembley thanks to a lucky 2-1 win over Germany. The match winner Chloe Kelly decides the game. For Germany, the evening had already started badly.

They seemed a bit battered, the English women. They had to accept the 1:1 equalization late in the 79th minute. And after that they didn’t have much to oppose Germany for a long time, they seemed to lack the energy.

Chloe Kelly felt that. She repeatedly asked the audience in the extension to create a better atmosphere. These 87,192 spectators at Wembley Stadium in London, who seemed frozen for a long time. But Kelly woke her up in the 109th minute. There were now ovations, cheers, a sizzling atmosphere. Seconds later, Manchester City striker Kelly, 24, steered the ball over the line. And sent Wembley and a whole nation into ecstasy.

The failure of the star player Alexandra Popp
In an intense, sometimes nervous final game, England were slightly favored before kick-off. And the evening had already got off to a bad start for Germany: eight minutes before kick-off, Alexandra Popp had to declare forfait. The absence of Popp, 31, together with Beth Mead the top scorer of this tournament with six goals, complained of muscular problems and had to be replaced.

National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg nominated a top-class replacement: Lea Schüller, Bundesliga top scorer and current German Footballer of the Year. Schüller had her chances, but she wasn’t able to counter the English team’s lucky punch.

Despite the disappointing end, it was a strong tournament for eight-time European champions Germany. After all, the team started this European Championship with little credit – especially in their own country. Before the first game, the “Spiegel” wrote that Germany was in danger of falling behind in an international comparison: “The national team had not even qualified for the Summer Olympics in Japan. The EM could end similarly miserably for the DFB selection. Even an end after the group phase is conceivable. » The fact that only a bit of competition luck was missing for the title on Sunday – that is a very respectable result. Svenja Huth said on ARD: “It hurts like a pig to lose so late.”

Those responsible for the German women’s team quarreled with the video assistants after the lost final. It was about the scene in the 26th minute when the score was 0-0, when a possible handball by England captain Leah Williamson was checked in the penalty area. But there was no penalty. National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg spoke of a “clear handball” after the 2-1 defeat after extra time on Sunday evening at Wembley Stadium.

When asked if her team was cheated, the 54-year-old replied: “I don’t want to put that word in my mouth. But that shouldn’t happen at the level of a final at the European Championships.” She criticized the Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul for not watching the scene on the pitchside screen.

Joti Chatzialexiou, head of the national teams at the German Football Association, criticized the work of the video assistants in general at the European Championship. “It was the third or fourth time at this tournament that no action was taken. That’s very disappointing. When that’s taken away from you, it hurts,” he said.

The trophy is coming home
The English women, on the other hand, managed what the men’s team has failed to do in ten attempts so far: crowning England number 1 in Europe. “It’s coming home”, the 90s hit by the Lightning Seeds, has been the soundtrack of the English national teams for a long time. For once the chorus was right: the trophy has actually come home, to the motherland of football.

Only last summer, the men had reached for the title at the same place, but had to admit defeat to Italy in the penalty shoot-out. The women’s triumph is tantamount to England’s first title since the 1966 World Cup. Unbeaten at that tournament, England also managed to avenge the 6-2 debacle against Germany in the 2009 European Championship final in Helsinki. After the Netherlands in 2017, the hosts triumphed for the second time in a row.

Also Beth Mead with bad luck with injuries
Not everything went according to plan for the English team on Sunday either. Beth Mead , the outstanding player of this European Championship, was injured after almost an hour while straddling and had to be cared for. While the coach Sarina Wiegmann prepared the inevitable change, Keira Walsh played a pass for eternity. He was of such a quality that Germany’s entire defense was undermined. Ella Toone used the template with a remarkable lob to make it 1-0. It was the first English highlight of a historic night that Chloe Kelly immortalized.

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