England have won the European Championship for the first time in their history after beating Germany at Wembley. An extra-time winner from Chloe Kelly sealed victory for the Lionesses.
It was a scrappy goal befitting a brilliantly scrappy final, but Chloe Kelly didn't care, as she forced the ball over the line in extra-time to make history for England at Wembley.
For the hosts, it's a first ever major honor in women's football – and indeed the country's first ever senior European title in any form of the game. But they were forced all the way by a resilient Germany team, who were deprived of injured captain and taliswoman Alexandra Popp in the warmup.
After a physical first half ended goalless, Ella Toone gave England the lead with a moment of beauty, neatly chipping the ball over German goalkeeper Merle Frohm.
But Germany equalized through Lina Magull to take the final to extra-time, where England slowly took the upper hand. And when the German defense failed to clear the ball, Kelly was on hand to stab home and make history.
England coach Sarina Wiegman said before the game she expected Germany to be "a little physical" and she was soon proven right, with fourteen fouls and three yellow cards in the first half alone.
Midfielder Lena Oberdorf, the tournament’s standout young player, announced her presence to Fran Kirby in the second minute. She then roughed up Rachel Daly a few minutes later before teaming up with midfield partner Sara Däbritz to send Fran Kirby and Georgia Stanway sprawling.
England responded in kind, striker Ellen White clattering into Merle Frohms, as both teams recorded their lowest pass completion ratios in the tournament, disrupting each other's rhythm in a nevertheless entertaining encounter in front of a record 87,192 attendance.
Toone puts England ahead, Magull hits back
When the deadlock was finally broken, however, it was a thing of beauty.
Manchester United's Toone had only been on the pitch for seven minutes when she ran onto Keira Walsh's long pass, sed away from defender Kathrin Hendrich and beat advancing goalkeeper Merle Frohm with a perfectly executed lob.
It was a finish worthy of winning any final, and looked like doing so up until the final ten minutes.
Magull had already come close to equalzing for Germany, crashing a shot against the woodwork. But Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's side kept pressing, Giulia Gwinn sending a cross across the box which Lohmann couldn't quite connect with.
But when Tabea Wassmuth did the same a few minutes later, Magull was on hand to finish at the near post and take the game to extra-time, where Kelly's ultimately made the difference – and history for England.