England superubs lead Women’s Euro 2022 ahead of Germany to win first major title

LONDON — England are you Women’s Euro 2022 winners after a thrilling final against Germany on Sunday. Substitute Ella Toon gave the tournament hosts a second-half lead with a brilliant individual goal, only to Lina Magul to equalize in the 79th minute. When the game went to extra time it was another English sub, Chloe Kellywho scored from close range after Germany failed to clear a corner.

Report: Kelly inspires England to historic 22 win

Oh, and the match was played in front of a European Championship crowd (men and women) who set an attendance record, with 87,192 in the stands to see the England women win their first major competition.

Here are ESPN’s Tom Hamilton and Kathleen McNamee with three quick points from a remarkable final at Wembley.

1. England supersubs deliver first international trophy

Chloe Kelly waited a moment after stabbing the ball past Merle Frohms at the 110th minute. And then once the winner was confirmed, Wembley’s record crowd erupted and Kelly ran to the bench to do her own version of Brandi Chastain. sport changing moment from 1999. It will be one of the defining images of those four weeks and years to come, but the fact that she was on the pitch to make that impact was due to Sarina Wiegman’s perfectly judged replacements.

After making history at the Euros by naming the same starting XI for every game, it took just six minutes for the first group of ‘supersubs’ to take effect. Just as we have seen in every game of this tournament, Alessia Russo and Toone made an impact from the bench. Ellen White and Frank Kirby had covered the miles for the first 55 minutes of the game, but as the spaces opened up, Toone’s fresh legs caught Germany with the game locked at 0-0. First the ball: Keira Walsh’s pinpoint pass into space was fantastic, but Toone’s run was on the money and her finish perfectly weighted as she lifted it over the pressed Frohms for the opening goal Match.

This substitution came at a time when England were struggling to find their groove; in the end, Walsh’s energy and direct long ball opened the game, taking away the momentum of Germany’s boa constrictor style. But Germany’s 73rd minute pass was also decisive when Sydney Lohmann had his chance in midfield. It was his mazy run through the England defense that created space for Tabea Wassmuth (a half-time substitute), who managed to get behind the England defense and put in a low cross for Lina Magull to finish at the near post.

In the end, of the 12 substitutions in 120 gripping minutes, it was Kelly who had the last laugh. With legs burning in extra time, it was their 114th-minute winner that secured the title for England. The finish was determined, a testament to his hard work after 11 months away with an ACL injury; it was also a sign of Wiegman’s confidence in his entire 23-man squad. –Tom Hamilton

2. Popp’s sad absence is too much for Germany to overcome

The news that the captain of Germany Alex Pop had got hurt the warm-up before the final sent shockwaves through the stadium and among German fans and supporters at home. It was the cruelest end to a stunning tournament for the 31-year-old, who tied with Beth Mead for the Golden Boot before this game. She had scored six goals in five appearances for Germany and her individual goal/shot stats were better than the whole team combined. It looked even worse considering that Popp also missed the last two tournaments due to serious injuries.

Having done so much to get Germany to this point, she was forced to watch from the touchline, although her replacement in the starting XI, Leah Schuller, was far from an inadequate option for an occasion like this. The Bayern Munich player was named German Player of the Year in 2021 and was the starting striker in his first match of the tournament. however, on Sunday she struggled to get into the game and was replaced by Nicole Anyomi after 67 minutes.

Popp’s movement and leadership are hard to replicate, and this was a game Germany needed her. It was clear they missed his physique in the box, especially in the first half. Sara Dabritz and Magull both had decent chances to put them forward, but they came from long shots from difficult angles. There was little muscle in the box, which Popp is well known for, and that aggression was badly needed against an England defense with strong players like Millie Bright and Lucia Bronze.

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Particularly throughout the Euro, Germany has found success with Svenja Huth running down the wings and delivering crosses for Popp which she stole or headed despite the attention of opposing defenders. When Magull finally scored a low cross into the box, it looked like an avenue Germany could have exploited much sooner had their captain been on the pitch.

Germany improved after leveling at 1-1 creating several chances to take the lead, but you can’t help but think that if they had Popp from the start they might have been in contention for a few goals much earlier. England and won a remarkable ninth European title. — Kathleen McNamee

3. How far can Wiegman take this England team?

When the England players came out to soak up the Wembley atmosphere before the game started, the crowd cheered. When Wiegman walked out a few minutes later, England fans were on their feet screaming their appreciation for her. The fans undoubtedly love this team, but they definitely love them more.

The reception was symbolic of how Wiegman captured the nation’s attention and the faith they placed in him. And why wouldn’t they? Her record with England is impeccable and she has now handed them the most elusive prize of all: a major tournament trophy. (It also means she was manager of the last two Euro winners, having guided the Netherlands to glory in 2017.)

It was never in doubt that this England team possessed world-class players, but Wiegman came on and added an air of confidence and unity that hadn’t existed before. Even in their most fragile moments, this team rallied and prevailed. After their tournament opener, a nervy 1-0 win over Austria, it was questioned whether England could handle the pressure of a home tournament. It showed, however, that Wiegman had already been here with the Netherlands. She steadied the ship and did not waver in her commitment to her starting XI. Speaking of super substitutes Toone and Russo, she gave them their due despite arguably having a reason to be in the starting XI.

Every player asked about Wiegman during the Euros spoke of her with the utmost respect, but above all, it seemed incredibly genuine. For both goals in the final, Kelly and Toone ran to celebrate with her and the team. It wasn’t a moment about them as individuals; it was about everyone.

Not much has changed with this team from previous years outside of Wiegman’s influence. She’s the cog England has been missing for years, and now they’re reaping the rewards. It’s a tantalizing prospect for the 2023 World Cup chances. — Kathleen McNamee

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