England beat Germany 2-1 in the European Championship final after extra time on Sunday to claim their first major women’s football title.
Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal from a rebound in the second half of extra time after Germany failed to clear a corner. The match had ended 1-1 after 90 minutes at Wembley Stadium with Lina Magull for Germany canceling out Ella Toone’s goal for England.
After the final whistle, the England players danced and the crowd sang their anthem “Sweet Caroline”. The good-natured atmosphere inside the stadium on Sunday contrasted with the violent scenes when the England men’s side lost their European Championship final to Italy at the same stadium a year ago.
The tournament’s record crowd of more than 87,000 underlined the growth of women’s football in Europe since England and Germany last played for a continental title 13 years ago.
On that occasion, Germany secured a 6-2 win over an England side that still relied on part-time players. Two years later, England launched its Women’s Super League, which professionalized the game and became one of the world’s premier competitions.
This has meant increased competition for Germany, which was a pioneering nation in European women’s football and increasingly faces well-funded rivals in England, Spain and France.
Ella Toone latched on to a long pass from Keira Walsh to get behind the German defense in the 62nd minute and deftly sent a chipped shot past keeper Merle Frohms and into the net for the opening goal.
Toone’s goal, six minutes into the game from the bench, sparked celebrations as England manager Sarina Wiegman – the winning coach with the Netherlands in 2017 – raised both arms in joy.
Facing their first defeat in nine European finals, Germany went close when Lea Schüller hit the post, then leveled the score in the 79th when Lina Magull hit a low cross past England keeper Mary Earps, extending the match.
When the game went into extra time, there were echoes of another European Championship final at the same venue the year before, when the England men’s team had a 1-0 lead but lost to the penalty shootout against Italy.
Germany were without captain Alexandra Popp – the team’s top scorer with six goals – after reporting a muscle problem during the warm-up. She was replaced in the line-up by Schüller while Svenja Huth took over as captain.