(Wembley) Tough, disputed, tactical, the final of the Euro football, which offered England its first women’s trophy, against Germany (2-1 ap), Sunday at Wembley, in front of a record crowd, was the apotheosis of a competition that demonstrated the spectacular progress of recent years.
Posted at 2:27 p.m.
Updated at 4:57 p.m.
England has finally broken its long wait, since the 1966 World Cup won by the men, and it is to its women’s team that it owes it: “Football’s coming home”, the unofficial anthem of the national selections can finally be sung without irony.
Inflicting on the Germans their first defeat in the final of a Euro, they who have won 8 of the 13 editions, the “Lionesses” have finished conquering the heart of a country which has gradually taken to the game.
Three years after a World Cup-2019 in France which had already concretized the upward trajectory of women in football, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic that passed through there, the English Euro ends with an indisputable success.
A popular success, first of all, as evidenced by the 87,192 spectators in the stands, far more than the record for a Men’s Euro match, 79,115, for the final of the 1964 edition between Spain, country -host, and the USSR (2-1).
The total attendance of this Euro, with 574,875 supporters present in the stadiums, also pulverizes the best mark for the women’s continental competition, which was achieved 5 years ago in the Netherlands with 247,041 spectators.
“Throughout the tournament, we had so much support from our fans,” coach Sarina Wiegman said after the match.
Heartbreak for Alexandra Popp
“Your success goes far beyond the trophy you so well deserved. You have all shown an example that will be an inspiration to girls and women today and to future generations,” Queen Elizabeth II even wrote to them in a message of congratulations.
Figures that will help development to continue, but the level of play has also improved significantly, technically, tactically, athletically…
The final was an illustration of this with a fierce battle between the two best teams in the tournament who held nothing back in the engagement and the duels.
“I told them that we could be proud, it wasn’t enough but we gave it our all until the end and I can’t blame them for anything,” said German coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. about his players after the game.
Germany may regret having been deprived in the semi-finals of their winger Klara Bühl, positive for COVID-19, and of their captain and top scorer, Alexandra Popp, injured in the warm-up.
Without Bühl and Popp, the German attack had lost much of its sparkle but also of its bite, its pressing being sometimes uncoordinated.
Opposite, unlike the opening match against Austria, or the half against Sweden, England did not have a delay in ignition and they knew how to respond to the physical challenge which gave a lot of work to Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul.
For an hour, chances were few, Ellen White missing two, by a header (3e) on the goalkeeper and a shot too high (38e) on a nice back serve from Beth Mead, player of the tournament with 6 goals and 5 assists.
A goal as ugly as it is historic
It was not until the first substitutions that the match got carried away.
On a bright opening by Georgia Stanway, Ella Toone presented herself against the German goalkeeper whom she deceived with a stung ball full of impressive composure given the stakes and her young age (22 years old), just six minutes after coming on (1-0, 62e).
The English unfortunately then fell back too much and Lina Magull who had already been dangerous twice (50e66e), cut off a low cross from Tabea Wassmuth to equalize (1-1, 79e).
During the extension, the knockout was in the air and we hoped for a stroke of genius that would tip the title.
Chloe Kelly’s point, on a muddled corner (2-1, 111e), will not be remembered for his good looks, but he is definitely in English sporting history.
This goal also confirms the “invincibility” of Sarina Wiegman who has not lost any of her 20 matches at the head of the “Lionesses” and won her 12 matches in a Euro, after having already taken the Netherlands to the crown at home. , 5 years ago.