England beat Germany to shatter 1966 hoodoo – Michmutters

England beat Germany to shatter 1966 hoodoo

The tournament-record crowd of more than 87,000 underlined the growth of women’s football in Europe since the last time England and Germany played for a continental title 13 years ago.

On that occasion, Germany emerged to a 6-2 win over an England team that still relied on part-time players. Two years later, England launched its Women’s Super League, which has grown into one of the main competitions worldwide.

Leah Williamson becomes the first England captain since 1966 to lift a major football trophy.

Leah Williamson becomes the first England captain since 1966 to lift a major football trophy.Credit:Getty Images

That has meant increasing competition for Germany, which was a pioneering nation in European women’s football but now faces well-funded rivals like England, Spain and France.

England’s title comes 56 years after the nation’s only major men’s title which was also an extra-time win at Wembley over Germany at the 1966 World Cup.

The players, too, are aware of how their success has important consequences.

“We talked and talked and finally we did it,” England captain Leah Williamson said. “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.”

On Sunday, Germany were without captain Alexandra Popp — the team’s leading scorer with six goals — after she reported a muscle problem in the warm-up. She was replaced in the line-up by Lea Schüller while Svenja Huth took over as captain.

The game was goalless after a physical first half in which Ellen White shot narrowly over the bar for England. Marina Hegering nearly forced the ball in for Germany at a corner before Williamson and England goalkeeper Mary Earps intervened.

Either team could have had a penalty in the opening half, first when the ball seemed to touch Williamson’s arm as she cleared, and later when Hegering dived to clear the ball and collided with Lucy Bronze.


Toone latched onto a long pass from Keira Walsh to get in behind the German defense in the 62nd minute and sent a lobbed shot over goalkeeper Merle Frohms and into the net for the opening goal.

Toone’s goal, six minutes after she entered 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 came close when Schüller hit the post and then leveled the score in the 79th when Magull knocked a low cross past Earps, taking the game to 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 on penalties to Italy, but Kelly’s goal changed all that. England took control of the game in the final minutes, denying Germany chances for a second equaliser.

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