Impetus’ Darrell Allen and Johnathan Stack reflect on an incredible evening at Wembley Stadium, with Darrell bringing the Lionesses’ perspective and Johnathan the German view as he hears from key members of the Germany squad and coaching staff (1/8/22).
Above: England lift the European Championship trophy amidst sensational scenes at Wembley last night. Photo: Lionesses.
More Than Just A Tournament Victory
by Darrell Allen
A dramatic evening which started with German star Alexandra Popp pulling out injured just minutes before kick-off ahead of a first half where England had chances, but couldn’t convert. Despite their setbacks, Germany bossed the second half, but the Lionesses showed their character with Ella Toone’s sensational goal. From there on the drama ratcheted up several more times as Lina Magull levelled with 10 minutes to go setting up extra-time. Then came Chloe Kelly to spark absolute delirium.
I look back at some of the key aspects of an incredible night at Wembley.
Scoring At A Crucial Time
It’s a fact that when Ella Toone gave England the lead they were on the back foot in the game. After a goalless first half, Germany came out with more energy and assertiveness in the second half and should have been in front if it wasn’t for some top class goalkeeping from Mary Earps.
Toone’s wonder goal came at a time when Beth Mead was making her way around the pitch perimeter after coming off injured so England took the lead with 10 on the field and whilst being on the back foot in the game which made it all the more extraordinary.
An England Tournament Win Is Never Easy
Extra time in a major final which was also against Germany? It just had to be done.
England were the better team in the first half with Germany better in the second half period so extra time was perhaps the correct outcome.
Just as thoughts were turning to who would be taking penalties. Chloe Kelly poached home to win the tournament and spark wild scenes of celebration all around Wembley.
Good game management saw England through to the end and be crowned European Champions.
Jubilant Jill Scott
The only player who played in the Lionesses’ previous major final, Euro 2009’s 6-2 loss to Germany final, this day meant so much to Jill Scott.
Scott came on in the 88th minute and played to the conclusion of the final. The England legend could been seen in tears after the final whistle including when meeting Prince William in the post-match presentation.
A hugely emotional day for all at Wembley Stadium but an especially proud one for Jill Scott.
Mead Claims Additional Triumph
Little else can be left to say about Beth Mead of Arsenal. Over the course of the last month, Mead has befriended the nation and warmed the hearts of so many.
Her six goals and five assists saw her take the top scorer award and an additional accolade of player of the tournament. Of those goals, five came in the group phase including a hat trick against Norway before an important strike in the semi-final triumph over Sweden. Mead has become a national treasure all in the space of four weeks.
The way that the Arsenal star conducted herself so positively and professionally in television interviews across the tournament has made her an icon and she has been a crucial component in making sure that England were in a position to win the tournament.
More Than Just A Football Tournament
This victory by England will do so much for the women’s game in the country. Young girls just starting will have a much better time in society than the current crop of victorious Lionesses did growing up.
Hope will be that today’s crowd of 87,192 will inspire many to look for a domestic match near them when the Women’s Super League begins in September.
We have been on an absolute thrill ride across the last month and that’s down to the wonderful role models of Sarina Wiegman and her fabulous team.
“We Were Close, But England Withstood the Pressure”
by Johnathan Stack
Germany’s bid for a ninth European championship crown came to a nail-biting end as the hosts of UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, England won 2-1 in extra time at Wembley Stadium.
The Germans were rocked a few minutes from kick-off as their star player at this tournament and captain Alexandra Popp who was named in the starting 11 was ruled out of the game with a muscle injury sustained in the warm-up, so Lea Schüller was Popp’s replacement in the lineup as the players took their places in the tunnel.
In a cagey first half which saw both teams come close to scoring which a goal mouth scramble nearly led to German defender Marina Hegering giving Germany the lead, and Ellen White coming close only to see her effort go just over Merle Frohms’ crossbar.
The game then came to life in the second half as Germany were caught out by a brilliant pass from Keira Walsh who found Ella Toone who audaciously chipped Frohms to give England the lead.
The Germans were back on level terms soon after as a great move on the edge of the box saw Lina Magull tap in Tabea Waßmuth’s near post cross.
But the Germans were ultimately undone in extra time as another goal scramble saw England substitute Chloe Kelly poke the ball home past Merle Frohms from close range to win the final for England.
One positive for Germany from this tournament is the fact that 20-year-old midfielder Lena Oberdorf was named UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 Young Player of the Tournament.
Germany Head Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg reflected on the agonising defeat saying: “We were close, but England withstood the pressure. Congratulations to them. We are very sad that we lost. We are in a process; it was not quite enough, so we have to do a little bit more. We grow from games like this.”
Speaking about losing her captain right before kick-off Voss-Tecklenburg said “Alexandra Popp would have triggered something against our opponents with her presence. But it just didn’t work out.”
Voss-Tecklenburg added: “We gave it everything we had for 120 minutes. We overcame all sorts of setbacks, including the absences of Alex Popp and Klara Bühl. We have to let it sink in and process our disappointment while still being very proud of ourselves, because it was such an evenly-matched game, one that maybe didn’t deserve to have a winner at the end.”
Germany goalkeeper Merle Frohms had this to say after the game: “It was just as tense and exciting as we were expecting. We knew that England were tough opponents, but we also knew that we have beaten tough sides before, which gave us confidence. We weren’t able to bring it to the pitch today; maybe it was a little bit of nerves but, after six games, at some point your strength starts to run out a bit.
“It was amazing to play in front of a crowd like that and to have that many fans here. Even when we arrived on the bus, they were all waiting and applauding us. That’s what differentiates women’s football a bit: they were English fans, but you could feel that they were happy to have us there and they were looking forward to the game.”
Germany defender Marina Hegering spoke after the match: “We were unlucky to lose. Sometimes, you just need a bit of luck. We had Lina Magull hitting the post — if that had gone it, maybe it would have changed things. It really hurts right now. It was very back and forth, and we managed to silence the crowd once. It would have been great if we had managed it a second time.”
“We grew into an incredible team here, and during our pre-tournament camps. We delivered some incredible team performances, which is one of our strengths, and we can draw on that to help us to process it all.”
Germany finishes their FIFA World Cup qualification group with an away doubleheader against Turkey and Bulgaria in September.
Teams: ENGLAND (4-5-1): Earps, Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly, Stanway, Walsh, Mead, Kirby, Hemp, White. Substitutes: Carter, England, Greenwood, Hampton, Kelly, Parris, Roebuck, Russo, Scott, Stokes, Toone, Wubben-Moy.
Scorers: Toone 62’ Kelly 110’.
GERMANY(4-3-3): Frohms, Hendrich, Hegering, Oberdorf, Schüller, Huth, Däbritz, Gwinn, Rauch, Brand, Magull. Substitutes: Anyomi, Berger, Dallmann, Doorsoun-Khajeh, Freigang, Kleinherne, Lattwein, Lohmann, Waßmuth, Schult.
Scorer: Magull 79’
Referee: Kateryna Monzul