Euro 2022 wrap: England wait to see who they meet in final after beating Swedes
England are awaiting the winners of Wednesday’s clash between Germany and France after demolishing Sweden to reach the Euro 2022 final.
The hosts swept aside the world’s second-ranked team 4-0 at Bramall Lane on Tuesday to reach their first major women’s final since 2009.
Tournament top scorer Beth Mead put Sarina Wiegman’s side on course for Sunday’s Wembley final after 34 minutes before turning provider for Lucy Bronze to double the lead.
Substitute Alessia Russo added a brilliant third with a backheel and Fran Kirby made it 4-0 with a chip late on.
Sweden had started well with Stina Blackstenius hitting the bar but the Lionesses ultimately proved too strong with Lauren Hemp also rattling the woodwork.
Wiegman celebrates another triumph
England coach Sarina Wiegman, who has now won 17 of her 19 matches in charge, believes the world will sit up and take notice of her side’s stunning semi-final performance.
“In the second half we totally took over,” said Wiegman, who also guided Holland to success in the Euros five years ago.
“You said are you ready to write history and I think this is a little history.
“This result will go all over Europe and the world. It was such a performance that tomorrow everyone will talk about us.”
Russo reflects on ‘naughty’ strike
😱 @alessiarusso7, that is 𝙊𝙐𝙏𝙍𝘼𝙂𝙀𝙊𝙐𝙎 😮💨#WEUROVision #WEURO2022 @hisensesports pic.twitter.com/i0BMDsxoa9
— UEFA Women's EURO 2022 (@WEURO2022) July 26, 2022
Russo’s goal attracted plenty of comment for its sheer audacity but the player herself admitted luck was involved. The Manchester United forward took a chance with her back to goal after 68 minutes and her effort squirmed through the grasp of Hedvig Lindahl.
She said: “I was a bit gutted I missed the sitter that Lauren (Hemp) played in, so I thought, ‘I’m going to have to do something about this’. Luckily it fell to me, I thought that was the quickest route to goal so I hit it and hoped.”
Mead, whose earlier strike was her sixth of the tournament, gave her more credit.
Mead said: “The instinct to backheel it that quickly and through the keeper’s legs was a very naughty goal.”
Germany wary of France threat
Attention will switch to Milton Keynes on Wednesday as Germany and France face each other for the right to meet England at Wembley.
Germany may have history on their side as eight-time champions but France, at the last-four stage for the first time, have proved a threat in this tournament.
Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said: “I think everyone saw in the group stages and in the quarter-finals that France have a very strong team who are able to find good solutions to get out of pressure.
“They focus on their play in the transition because they have a lot of pace in their team and direct a lot of their attacking play down the wings.”
France coach Corinne Diacre also believes her side can make an impact.
“My players are confident,” she said. “My group’s mental attitude was truly exceptional in the quarter-final, because they didn’t let up.”
Picture of the day
Stat of the day
Mead has scored six goals and weighed in with a further five assists in her five appearances so far.
Quote of the day
The former England men’s striker, working as a pundit for the BBC, hopes the success of the women’s side helps change attitudes and has a strong legacy for the game in the country.
Post of the day
Yesss @Lionesses ! Bring on the final 🙌
— Harry Kane (@HKane) July 26, 2022
Semi-final: Germany v France (8pm, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes)