Hosts England sent a record 87,192 Wembley crowd into dreamland as they won their first major title by beating Germany in extra time.
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Chloe Kelly was the unlikely hero as hosts England won a UEFA Women's EURO for the first time, defeating eight-time champions Germany 2-1 after extra time in front of a record 87,192 crowd at Wembley.
Pre-match Popp injured in warm-up
25' Williamson denies Hegering
39' White strike just off target
48' Sub Wassmuth quickly threatens
62' Toone lobs opener for England
66' Magull rattles crossbar
79' Magull levels with neat finish
108' Toone tests Frohms from range
110' Kelly prods in England winner
Match in brief: Kelly picks moment to perfection
England stuck with the same XI as in every game on their run to the final, but there was a blow for Germany in the warm-up when captain Alex Popp – who had scored in all five previous matches – picked up an injury, forcing Lea Schüller to step in.
The atmosphere was understandably frenzied in the packed Wembley stands early on, especially when Lauren Hemp's cross was met by the head of Ellen White, though Merle Frohms was in the way.
The hosts were having slightly the better of the opening exchanges, forcing a succession of corners, but on 25 minutes Germany seemed set to take the lead from one of their own, only for Leah Williamson to scramble away Marina Hegering's effort from point-blank range. White then raced on to a Beth Mead cutback, but her strike sailed just over.
Striker Tabea Wassmuth arrived for Germany at half-time and she quickly had a chance, pouncing on a loose ball on the left and cutting in before being denied by Mary Earps. Lina Magull also went close and Sarina Wiegman responded by introducing Alessia Russo, who had already notched a record four goals as a substitute in the finals, along with her similarly impactful Manchester United club-mate Ella Toone.
Within seven minutes, Toone struck. Mead was off the pitch injured, leaving England temporarily with ten players, but Keira Walsh's incisive through ball from deep set Toone free and – one on one with Frohms – she held her nerve with a dinked finish.
Germany responded and Magull smashed a shot onto the crossbar, Schüller hitting the rebound straight at a relieved, and grinning, Earps. Her relief was short lived, however, as Magull returned to beat Earps with 11 minutes left, a slick move culminating in Wassmuth providing the assist with a low centre, and the showpiece was now destined for extra time.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's side called the tune for the first additional 15 minutes without seriously testing Earps, but England grew in stature once more and Frohms had to be alert to kick away Toone's long-range effort as the final entered the second period of extra time.
Then came the moment England fans had dreamed of. Lucy Bronze helped Lauren Hemp's corner into danger area and Kelly prodded in at the second attempt for her first international goal. Impeccable timing and a strike that Germany had no answer to as the hosts ran down the clock with ease to kick off the celebrations.
Visa Player of the Match: Keira Walsh (England)
"Walsh balanced the team throughout the game. She was the continuous connection between the striker and the defenders. She hardly loses the ball and after winning it she finds the space to purposefully set up the possessional play forwards."
UEFA Technical Observer panel
Lynsey Hooper, England reporter
There had to be a hero and yet again it was one of Wiegman's substitutes! Step up Kelly, scoring her first international goal to win the final. It wasn't pretty, but England do not care: they get to lift the trophy for the first time. Toone thought she was going to snatch all the headlines when she scored a stunning dinked opener, but Germany were equally as impressive with their goal, Magull mustering a blistering finish at the near post. The Lionesses may have been forced to wait an extra 30 minutes – but when they've waited 38 years, what's another half an hour?
Anna-Sophia Vollmerhausen, Germany reporter
Coach Voss-Tecklenburg said before the game that the details would make the difference and it proved true tonight. Two momentary lapses in concentration allowed England to score – first Toone, then Kelly. It just wasn't clicking for Germany tonight, but they put up a brave fight and can be proud of what they have achieved this tournament. Congratulations to England; the whole country has been behind them this summer and I hope it's the continuation of a bright new future for women's football.
Sarina Wiegman, England coach: "What we've done is incredible. I knew we had England behind us – we saw that coming to the stadium. But the whole tournament we've had so much support from our fans. I'm so proud of the team."
Chloe Kelly, England goalscorer: "It's amazing. Thank you every single person that has come out to support us. This is what dreams are made of. Thank you to everyone who played a part in my rehab. I always believed I'd be here, but to score the winner – wow. These girls are special and what a special group of staff."
Millie Bright, England defender: "A lot of emotions, but I'm so proud. What more could you ask for as a player? Playing a home EURO in front of your nation, selling out Wembley – the heart of football in England. The fans have been so incredible."
Leah Williamson, England captain: "We talked and talked and finally we did it. It's the proudest moment of my life so I'm going to lap it up and take every single second in. The legacy of this tournament and this team is a change in society; we've brought everyone together."
Fran Kirby, England forward: "It's amazing; something I've dreamed of for a long, long time. To win this now is amazing. It's incredible. To get to the final and get the win is what this team is all about."
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, Germany coach: "We were close, but England withstood the pressure. Congratulations to them. We are very sad that we lost. We're in a process; it wasn't quite enough, so we have to do a little bit more. We grow from games like this. Alexandra Popp would have triggered something against our opponents with her presence, but it just didn't work out."
Merle Frohms, Germany goalkeeper: "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. We know that lots of people back home were watching on TV and hope that we have given them a desire to want to come to the stadium and follow women's football – and that there are more fans in the stands at our league games."
- England have won their first major title, having lost both their previous Women's EURO finals, to Sweden in 1984 and Germany in 2009.
- England are the fifth different winners after Germany (eight titles), Norway (two), Sweden (one) and the Netherlands (one).
- England follow previous host winners Norway (1987), West Germany (1989), Germany (1995, one-off final), Germany (2001) and Wiegman's Netherlands (2017).
- Wiegman is the first coach to lead two different teams to the title, and the first foreign coach to win a final.
- Germany have lost a final for the first time, having won their previous eight in 1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 (against England) and 2013.
- England overtook Germany's (2009) record of 21 goals at a Women's EURO; their final winner was their 22nd goal of the tournament.
- England have won 18 and drawn two of their last 20 international matches (F106 A5) since Wiegman took over.
- Toone's goal was the 500th in Women's EURO final tournaments.
- Mead finished as top scorer with six goals and five assists, ahead of Popp (six goals, no assists) and Alessia Russo (four goals, one assist, all as substitute).
- England named the same starting XI for all six matches, the first time that has happened in a men's or women's EURO with a group stage.
- Germany have never failed to score in a knockout phase game at the finals (25 matches).
- The crowd of 87,192 was the highest ever for a women's national-team match in Europe.
England: Earps; Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly (Greenwood 88); Stanway (Scott 89), Walsh; Mead (Kelly 64), Kirby (Toone 56), Hemp (Parris 119); White (Russo 56)
Germany: Frohms; Gwinn, Hendrich, Hegering (Doorsoun 103), Rauch (Lattwein 113); Magull (Dallmann 90), Oberdorf, Däbritz (Lohmann 73); Huth, Schüller (Anyomi 67), Brand (Wassmuth 46)
The teams return to competitive action in September with the concluding games of the European Qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which runs from 20 July to 20 August next summer. Four of the 11 European places at the finals have been filled already, with Denmark, France, Spain and Sweden topping their groups.
Yet to concede in eight Group D wins, England will book their finals place with a draw in Austria (3 September) or a win against Luxembourg (6 September). Three points clear at the top of Group H, Germany will qualify by beating either Türkiye (3 September) or Bulgaria (6 September).
The Women's EURO itself returns to its regular cycle for the 2023–25 edition, with the final tournament host bidding process under way.