England created history by winning their first major women’s tournament in a dramatic Euro 2022 final against old rivals and eight-time champions Germany at Wembley.
Substitute Chloe Kelly poked home a loose ball from a corner to send the raucous record crowd of 87,192 into a frenzy with ten minutes of extra time remaining.
She waited for confirmation of the goal before taking off her shirt and waving it around her head, while being lifted by her team-mates in a moment of pure elation.
On a monumental day in English football history, Sarina Wiegman’s side showed they were equal to anything a strong and physical Germany team threw at them.
Ella Toone had earlier come off the bench to score the opener in normal time before Germany’s Lina Magull set up a nervous ending when she equalised in the 79th minute.
There were scenes of jubilation in the stands and an outpouring of emotion by players on the pitch at full-time as the magnitude of their achievement began to sink in.
The final was advertised as a battle between the competition’s two best-performing sides, and for large parts they cancelled each other out – but the biggest crowd in the history of a men’s or women’s Euros was given their money’s worth.
🏆 OUR ENGLAND. OUR CHAMPIONS. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/gf4BHUd5fW
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 31, 2022
Striker Ellen White missed a few chances in the first half, Lucy Bronze was denied with a header, Germany’s Magull struck wide and England defender Leah Williamson had to scramble a corner off the line before Toone was introduced to break the deadlock.
She had given England fans the winning taste before Magull stunned the home crowd, though it would only delay the celebrations that Kelly, who only returned to football in April after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, gave them.
England did what no other nation had done before – beat serial winners Germany in a European Women’s Championship final, and the feeling was sweet.
It comes 56 years after England’s men beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final, the only previous major trophy won by a men’s or women’s England senior team.
The players fell to the ground at full-time in tears of joy, in scenes which will be remembered and replayed for years to come on one of the greatest nights in English sport.