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Chloe Kelly scored an extra-time winner to give England Women a 2-1 victory over Germany and crown them European champions after a superb Euro 2022 final.
The 24-year-old was on hand to poke the ball home on 110 minutes after Germany failed to clear a corner. Ella Toone had given the Lionesses the lead after a goalless first half but Lina Magull scored to take the game into extra time. Penalties loomed large before Kelly’s timely intervention.
Sarina Wiegman named the same England starting XI for a sixth game in a row. In doing so, they became the first team in the history of the Women’s Euros to remain unchanged for every match.
Germany manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg also went with the same side that beat France in the semi-finals. However, she was forced into a late change as Alexandra Popp picked up an injury during the warm-up.
She was replaced by Bayern Munich’s Lea Schuller.
Roared on by a packed house at Wembley, the Lionesses enjoyed the first chance of the contest in just the fourth minute. Fran Kirby’s cross found the head of Ellen White but Germany keeper Merle Frohms dealt with the threat.
The hosts continued to dominate the opening exchanges but Germany sparked into life on 10 minutes. Lucy Bronze did well to block a Sara Dabritz shot although the flag did eventually go up for offside.
Wiegman’s charges refused to give an inch, with Georgia Stanway and White both booked during the first 45 minutes. And England could easily have fallen a goal behind on 25 minutes.
From a Germany corner, Leah Williamson and Rachel Daly somehow kept the ball out before Mary Earps dived on it.
England hit back a few minutes later but White’s shot after a superb sweeping move and cross from Beth Mead flew just over the bar.
A scrappy first half seemed to fly by with England dominant but having nothing to show for their efforts.
Brand gets the hook
Voss-Tecklenburg made a change at half-time as Tabea Wassmuth replaced Jule Brand. And the substitute was immediately in the thick of the action as she found herself free in the England box.
However, her weak shot was easily saved by Earps. The Lionesses failed to ignite at the start of the second period.
And they could easily have conceded on 50 minutes, with Lina Magull shooting just wide from close range when she should have hit the target.
England call on super sub
Wiegman decided to take action, with Alessia Russo and Toone replacing Kirby and White on 55 minutes. Germany pair Lena Oberdorf and Schuller were both booked in quick succession as things began to get spicy.
And then the moment that the whole nation had bene waiting for as England took the lead through Toone on 62 minutes. A superb ball from Keira Walsh picked out the run of the substitute, who controlled it well to slot it past Frohms.
The stadium erupted but five minutes later Germany could have levelled affairs. Magull’s shot struck the bar while Earps was on hand to deal with Schuller’s follow-up shot.
Voss-Tecklenburg continued to ring the changes with Sydney Lohmann replacing Dabritz as Germany looked for an equaliser. And it duly came on 79 minutes through Magull.
The 27-year-old latched on to Wassmuth’s cross to poke home at the near post. It was no more than they deserved after pressure had been building on the England goal.
Germany continued to push forward looking for the winner, with Magull a continual thorn in the hosts’ side.
The experienced pair of Alex Greenwood and Jill Scott came on for Daly and Stanway with just two minutes of the 90 remaining.
A late free-kick gave England hope of snatching it at the death but the resolute Germany rearguard stood firm and the game headed to extra time.
Kelly sends Wembley wild
Germany made a change ahead of the extra 30 minutes, with Linda Dallmann replacing the goalscorer Magull.
The crowd attempted to lift a weary-looking England side at the start of the extra period. They enjoyed some decent possession but did little with the ball to threaten the German goal.
A Germany corner on 98 minutes caused mayhem in the England box but the defence held firm to keep the scores level.
The sides were still locked together as the final 15 minutes got underway. England created the first chance as Toone forced Frohms to save with her feet.
But the stadium erupted just moments later as Kelly put England back in front. The Germans failed to deal with a corner and Kelly fired home at the second attempt to send the crowd wild.
The two minutes of added time seemed to drag on but Wiegman’s charges held on for a famous triumph.
The article Chloe Kelly strikes late as heroic England Lionesses down Germany to clinch Euro 2022 glory appeared first on Teamtalk.com.