With the curtain closed on another summer of women’s international football, attention turns back towards the men’s World Cup, but not before the recent tournament, which saw the Lionesses win their first major trophy under Sarina Wiegman, gets some recognition. It was an exciting month of action in England, with a range of stadia and crowds from across the continent coming together to continue breaking down barriers for the sport.
There was plenty of drama across the competition, culminating with the showpiece event at Wembley, where a sell-out crowd packed into the capital — a refreshing sight considering the tournament had been postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. With thousands in attendance throughout the month-long festival of football and lots to unpack when placing a summer football accumulator, let’s take a look at some of the most entertaining games from across the Women’s Euros.
France 5-1 Italy
The Women’s Euros is renowned for it’s high-scoring games, and this year was no exception as we saw an abundance of goals in the group stages. England might have thrashed Norway 8-0 but the highlight was France, who led Italy 5-0 before half-time in a game many thought could have ended in double figures! The Azzuri pulled a consolation goal back but France laid down a marker here and went on to reach the semi-finals.
Germany 4-0 Denmark
While the Germans might have fallen short in their quest for another European title, their group stage game with Denmark, a rematch of their quarter-final in the 2017 tournament, ended with a 4-0 thrashing which served to remind fans how they were once the dominant force in the women’s game.
The Danes might have caused an upset in Rotterdam, ending Germany’s 23-year unbeaten run, but Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side were emphatic this time around, putting the Scandinavians to the sword at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Netherlands 3-2 Portugal
Former holders the Netherlands caused something of an upset when they lifted the trophy on home soil five years ago, perhaps simply down to the stranglehold Germany had on the competition. But their defence got off to a great start when they went 2-0 up against Portugal in the group stage after 16 minutes. However, Francisco Neto’s side battled valiantly to draw level two minutes into the second half. Despite piling on the pressure, the Dutch caught them on the break, with Danielle van de Donk’s goal on the hour mark enough to secure three points with a well-timed header.
England 1-1 Germany (2-1 AET)
The moment that could potentially change the course of women’s football in England, Chloe Kelly’s scrappy goal was hardly the winner she would have dreamt of scoring along Wembley Way as a girl, but the Lionesses will always remember her name after she sent the capital into delirium in extra time to put her side ahead against Germany.
England had initially taken the lead through Ella Toone but the Germans equalised with a well-timed run and finish from Bayern Munich’s Lina Magull. Wiegman remained composed in the dugout and the second the ball found the back of the net in the 110th minute you knew the trophy was bound for the Trafalgar Square parade, as captain Leah Williamson hoisted it in the air in front of 87,000.