Historic victory for England's Lionesses after extra-time thriller in Euros final

31 July 2022, 16:58 | Updated: 31 July 2022, 22:44

England have won Euro 2022
England have won Euro 2022. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

England Lionesses have won the Euro 2020 final 2-1 after roaring back into the lead in an extra-time thriller.

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England's Euro 2022 dream became reality after substitute Chloe Kelly fired the team ahead once again in the second half of extra time.

It secured the team their first major trophy in their history in front of a record-breaking crowd at Wembley.

Kelly prodded the ball past Merle Frohms in the 110th minute to restore the tournament hosts' lead after fellow substitute Ella Toone's wonderful lobbed opener just after the hour mark.

Germany - who lost their star forward Alexandra Popp to injury minutes before kick-off - equalised with 11 minutes of normal time remaining through Lina Magull.

The game looked on course for a penalty shoot-out until Kelly's effort fired Sarina Wiegman's side to glory.

Leah Williamson and Millie Bright of England lift the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 trophy
Leah Williamson and Millie Bright of England lift the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 trophy. Picture: Getty

Tens of thousands of football fans at Wembley roared with joy after the final whistle, as cheers soon turned to chanting of the iconic "it's coming home".

A year on from the men's team losing their Euros final at the stadium on penalties to Italy, England can celebrate the first piece of major silverware for a senior side since the men's 1966 World Cup triumph over West Germany.

Read more: Prince William and Charlotte roar on Lionesses ahead of sell-out Wembley final

Read more: Lionesses on brink of history as they face Germany at Euro final

It was a third appearance in a Euros final for England, and first since losing 6-2 to Germany at Euro 2009 in Finland.

The English women's game has been on a journey of considerable growth in the intervening years, with the sense of momentum certainly apparent over the last few weeks as Wiegman's team have thrilled large stadium crowds and television audiences - and there will be sky-high hopes for what the future holds after this historic moment.

There was also a personal triumph for Beth Mead, who claimed the Golden Boot after finishing the tournament with six goals - the same amount as Popp - with Mead taking the prize due to her superior assists tally.

Team captain Leah Williamson said before the game that she wanted to use the Lionesses' new-found stature to bring about equality across society as a whole.

"What we've seen in the tournament already is that this hasn't just been a change for women's football but society in general, it's about how we're looked upon," she said.

"The final is not the end of a journey but the start of one. And regardless of the end result, there will be a nice moment for reflection.

Sub Ella Toone got the first goal of the match
Sub Ella Toone got the first goal of the match. Picture: Getty

She continued: "Naturally it's my job to go out for 90 minutes to play, and win, but when we look back on this tournament as a whole, we'll have really started something. I want tomorrow to be the start, to be a marker for the future.

"I've only ever been in this football workplace but, in most workplaces across the world, women still have a few more battles to face to try to overcome.

"For every success we make, for every change of judgment or perception or the opening of the eyes of somebody who will now view women as somebody with the potential to be the equal of her male counterpart, that can create change in society."

Chloe Kelly scored in extra time
Chloe Kelly scored in extra time. Picture: Getty

Ahead of Sunday's game, Princess Charlotte and Prince William were among fans roaring on the Lionesses.

The pair wished the England squad the best of luck in a short video shared on Twitter.

William said: "We both want to wish the Lionesses the best of luck for tonight.

"You've done amazing well in the competition and we are rooting for you all the way."

Charlotte, at William's side, added: "Good luck, I hope you win. Bye".

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