Women's Team

Kelly's extra-time strike fires Lionesses to EURO 2022 glory

Supersub Chloe Kelly proved England’s match-winner as the City striker’s dramatic extra-time goal fired the Lionesses to a dramatic 2-1 win over Germany to secure EURO 2022 glory as football finally came home at Wembley.

City’s Keira Walsh, Ellen White and Lauren Hemp all started with Alex Greenwood and Kelly then summoned on from the bench on what was an historic afternoon as England secured a first major title since the men’s 1966 World Cup triumph.

Felllow sub Ella Toone’s 62nd minute chip looked to have won the game for Sarina Wiegman's side only for Germany to level 11 minutes from time through Lina Magull.

That sent an action-packed encounter into extra-time and Kelly, who had come on 25 minutes from time, sent a record-breaking crowd of 87,192 and millions more watching around the country into ecstasy as she converted a 110th minute winner.

With City duo Ellie Roebuck and Demi Stokes also on the bench, it was a magnificent day for City's England contingent.

It ended 56 years of hurt and will go down as one of the biggest moments in English sporting history.

And for Kelly it was a moment made all the more remarkable by her brave recovery from a serious ACL injury which ruled her out for almost a year until her comeback in April of this year.

With so much at stake, there was a pulsating atmosphere in the biggest women’s match ever staged in this country.

Germany had suffered a pre-match blow when star striker Alexandra Popp, joint leading scorer in the tournament, was forced out of their starting line-up with an injury sustained in the warm-up.

And England almost enjoyed the perfect start when Ellen White was found in space on the right edge of the box by Fran Kirby’s teasing fourth minute cross.

However, her header was gathered by German keeper Merle Frohms.

In a high octane start. a crucial Lucy Bronze header then prevented a powerful shot from Germany’s Sara Daebritz arrowing in on goal.

There was then chaos on the England line as only a desperate double block from skipper Leah Williamson prevented Germany from taking the lead after Jule Brand’s corner arrowed in in goal and ricocheted around, with keeper Mary Earps also making a key save.

Six minutes from the break, England then conjured their best opening yet. Beth Mead was the architect, driving forward on the right flank from White’s astute pass before cutting the ball back into the City striker’s path as she powered into the box.

However, the Lionesses’ all-time leading scorer was just unable to keep her snapshot below the bar.

Germany made a change at the break with striker Tabea Wassmuth brought on in place of Jule Brand and she almost made an immediate breakthrough as the eight-time champions stepped up the ante.

Millie Bright overcommitted in a defensive challenge allowing Wassmuth to sprint 30 yards in on goal from the left channel but, once again, Earps proved equal to the challenge gathering her low shot.

Moment later there was an even better opportunity for the Germans as Lina Magull evaded Walsh and turned brilliantly in the box before poking a shot just past the left post.

But a double England substitution soon provided the spark that helped lift the roof off Wembley.

Ella Toone and Alessia Russo were brought on in place of White and Kirby – and on 64 minutes a combination made in Manchester between Walsh and Toone provided the breakthrough.

City’s Walsh executed a sublime 45-yard pass over the German defence and into the path of the onrushing Roone.

There was still work to do for the United striker but she showed class and composure to execute a stunning chip over the advancing Frohms and into the net.

With joint top scorer Mead picking up a knock, City’s Kelly was then brought on before Germany came within an ace of levelling affairs.

Lina Magull found a fraction of space on the right edge of the box and fired a rising shot against the bar. The ball fell to Lea Schuller, but her follow-up was straight at Earps who gratefully gathered.

However, the Germans’ late pressure and persistence was relentless, and they were eventually rewarded with a 79th minute leveller.

It was a superb effort too as they expertly manoeuvred space for Wassmuth to fire over a low cross that Magull instantly clipped into the roof of the net.

With the 90 minutes almost up, City’s Alex Greenwood and former Academy Stadium team-mate Jill Scott were both brought on by Wiegman as the Lionesses sought a dramatic late winner.

It wasn’t to be as an absorbing and physical encounter went into a nerve-shredding 30 minutes of extra-time.

And with just 10 minutes remaining City’s Kelly provided a moment that will go down in English folklore as she restored the Lionesses’ lead.

It wasn’t the cleanest of goals but she will not care a jot!

From Hemp’s inswinging corner, Kelly first looked to have missed her opportunity after Bronze had initially flicked the ball.

However, at the second time of asking. Kelly poked the ball in to inspire incredible scenes around the home of English football.

It was her first international goal – and she will never score a more important one.

And it was even more remarkable given she had only returned to football earlier this year after suffering an ACL injury in 2021.

For a grateful nation, 56 years of hurt is over. 

England no longer expects, the Lionesses delivered. England are European champions.

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