Germany got a hero’s welcome back after losing the Euro 2022 final

Thousands of fans crowded Frankfurt’s main square to welcome home the defeated finalists

Germany may have lost the Euro 2022 final to England, but the squad was still given a hero’s welcome back by thousands of fans in Frankfurt on Monday.

The previous day, Germany fell just short of a European title in a thrilling final at Wembley. Chloe Kelly’s extra-time winner gave the Lionesses a 2-1 victory on home soil in front of a record crowd.

The sting of that defeat will likely endure for a while, but seeing a huge number of fans and German flags at Frankfurt’s main square would certainly have lifted the spirits of the team’s players.

“We wanted to become European champions,” Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said at the event. “But if the great performances have helped us to play our way into the hearts of the of the German people, we are happy to have won their hearts.”

Germany won’t have to wait long for redemption. The 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will get underway in less than a year.

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Brandi Chastain congratulates Chloe Kelly on her shirt-removing Euro 2022 winner

Game recognize game

After Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal for England in Euro 2022, she emulated one of the game’s all-time iconic moments by removing her shirt to reveal her sports bra.

The originator of that move, former U.S. women’s national team star Brandi Chastain, couldn’t help but express her admiration for Kelly’s tribute.

Kelly scrambled home a 110th-minute winner against Germany at Wembley, clinching a 2-1 win for England as the Lionesses took home the European championship on home soil.

A jubilant Kelly ran wildly around the pitch after scoring, removing her shirt and twirling it around as she happily accepted the yellow card that automatically accompanied her celebration.

Chastain, who removed her shirt after scoring the winning penalty at the 1999 World Cup, took to Twitter to congratulate Kelly on her own iconic shirt-removing moment.

Chastain, like Kelly, saw her country lift a major trophy on home soil, as she netted the final penalty in a shootout against China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Lacy Atkins/The San Francisco Examiner via AP

Twenty-three years later, the sport now has a worthy successor to one of its most indelible moments.

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Heart of a Lioness! England makes history with fairytale Euro 2022 win on home soil

After decades of heartache, football is home

England had seen this script before.

After Ella Toone’s remarkable second-half opener sent Wembley into raptures, the air was sucked out of the building when Lina Magull equalized with just over 10 minutes to go in the Euro 2022 final.

Suddenly, history began to get rather heavy.

Germany had reached the UEFA Women’s Championship final eight times before and won all eight. England had reached the final twice, and lost both.

England hadn’t won a major trophy, men’s or women’s, since 1966.

But this Lioness team was determined to not let history bring them down. Chloe Kelly scrambled home a winner from a corner kick in extra time, giving England a 2-1 win and a history-making European title that will reverberate for generations.

The game put a cap on a Euro 2022 that should boost the profile of women’s soccer worldwide – and especially in Europe. 87,192 fans packed Wembley for the final, the largest crowd to ever see a women’s match in the UK and the biggest attendance ever for any Euros game, men or women.

As for the match itself, it contained some of the less desirable elements that so often characterize major finals: tired legs, crunching challenges, heavy touches and disjointed passages of play. For two teams who have played some beautiful stuff throughout Euro 2022, the game was hardly chock full of magic moments.

But after 62 minutes, there was indeed a moment of magic from the Lionesses. Keira Walsh picked out a perfectly weighted long ball that found Toone, who displayed almost superhuman composure to dink the ball over Merle Frohms into the back of the net.

It was a goal worthy of winning any final, but especially this one in front of a record home crowd. But Germany was never going to play the role of magnanimous pushover.

The visitors came roaring back, with Magull’s equalizer no less than Germany deserved. The air was truly out of the building as England had to hold on to simply reach extra time.

But that’s where the history changed, and a new era began. Kelly’s goal was no less than England, the team and the country deserved, after a tournament that will be remembered for far more than the on-field play.

Football is home. And the world of football will be all the better for it.

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Germany star Alexandra Popp forced out of Euro 2022 final after injury in warm-up

The striker entered the match as the co-leading scorer in Euro 2022

Germany suffered a major blow in the lead-up to kickoff of the Euro 2022 final against England, as star forward Alexandra Popp was forced out of the match with a muscular injury suffered in the warm-up.

Popp entered the match as the co-leading scorer in Euro 2022, as she was tied with England’s Beth Mead with six goals.

The 31-year-old scored a brace in the semifinal against France, leading Germany to their ninth European Championship final.

Lea Schüller replaced Popp in the lineup ahead of kickoff at Wembley.

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Alexandra Popp had the perfect response to jokes about her joining the Germany men’s team

The Germany star is clearly taking it all in stride

Alexandra Popp has had quite the Euro 2022 so far.

The Germany star is tied for the tournament’s Golden Boot lead with six goals so far, and she produced a signature two-goal performance against France in the semifinal to lead her team to Sunday’s final against England.

Popp’s display has been so good, in fact, that some in Germany have begun to jokingly suggest that Germany men’s coach Hansi Flick should consider calling her up for the World Cup later this year.

“We want to open a new chapter with Alexandra…er Alexander Papp,” read a “quote” from Flick on the satirical website Der Postillon. “She…err… he has excellent positional play, a fantastic nose for goals and is ice cold when finishing.”

Fums Magazine suggested Popp don a mustache and be remade into “Alexander Bopp.”

Popp clearly is taking this all in stride. In a press conference before Sunday’s final at Wembley, the forward removed her mask and revealed a fake mustache before approaching the microphone and, in her deepest voice possible, saying: “Hallo.”

And about that trip to Qatar later this year? Popp has ruled it out.

“I’m still in the Champions League,” the Wolfsburg star said with a laugh.

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Popp, Germany overcome France in taut Euro 2022 semifinal

Germany is in their ninth (!) women’s Euro final

Germany and France produced a tense, back-and-forth Euro 2022 semifinal Wednesday, with Alexandra Popp’s brace eventually being enough to send Germany to their ninth European Championship final on the women’s side by a 2-1 margin.

Germany’s high-pressing system saw them gain the upper hand to start, but France was able to just barely keep them from truly serious chances outside of one Alexandra Popp free kick that Pauline Peyraud-Magnin did very well to save.

However, they got the reward for their dominance in the 40th minute, as Svenja Huth and Jule Brand manufactured some space on the right. Huth clipped the ball to the back post, where Popp’s superb run inside of Ève Périsset allowed her to thump a volley into the roof of the net.

Germany seemed in full control, but France stunningly leveled with virtually the last kick of the half. A simple enough move forward from France saw Kadidiatou Diani receive the ball 25 yards from goal, but with multiple Germany defenders close by. Diani turned into some space before unleashing a rocket that beat goalkeeper Merle Frohms, cracked off the post, and then bounced into the goal off of Frohms’ back.

France, buoyed by the first goal anyone had scored on Germany in this tournament, looked sharper coming out of the locker room. Halftime substitute Selma Bacha saw her goal-bound shot headed away at the last gasp by Kathrin Hendrich, while Frohms denied Wendie Renard on the doorstep on the ensuing corner.

However, Popp couldn’t be denied, jumping into a tie with Beth Mead atop the Euro 2022 goalscorers’ chart in the 76th minute. Germany kept an attack alive through multiple cycles, with Huth tracking down a blocked shot that caromed out to the touchline before whipping a cross into the mixer. Amid the chaos, Popp leapt highest, powering Germany back in front.

Germany’s win sets up a potentially epic final between them and England, who crushed Sweden on Tuesday. The Euro 2022 final is set for Sunday, July 31 at Wembley, with kickoff scheduled for 12:00pm Eastern.

All the goals from Germany beating France

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England into Euro 2022 final after storming past Sweden 4-0

Ruthless finishing took England into the Euro 2022 final

A scintillating second half saw England smash Sweden 4-0, taking the hosts into the Euro 2022 final on Sunday.

A frenetic early pace actually favored Sweden, with Mary Earps kicking away a good look from Sofia Jakobsson within the first minute. Stina Blackstenius hit the crossbar shortly thereafter in an end-to-end opening.

Sweden had a distinct advantage in terms of chances, but England struck first in the 34th minute. A break up the left side from Rachel Daly and Lauren Hemp didn’t quite work out, but Lucy Bronze collected the ball before it went out and drove a cross back into the box for Beth Mead, who lashed home a half-volley, her sixth of the tournament.

England then got a further boost barely 70 seconds after the second half got underway. A corner to the back post found Lucy Bronze, whose header sneaked its way through a crowd before tucking into the bottom corner.

Mead—standing directly in front of Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl—was suspected of being offside, but a VAR check cleared the goal, giving England a 2-0 lead.

Hemp then cracked a point-blank sitter off the crossbar after being expertly set up by Alessia Russo. Earps robbed Sweden of a goal, but at the other end the hosts put the game to bed with an extraordinary goal in the 68th minute.

A sublime passing sequence seemed to set up a sure chance for Russo, only for the substitute to fire right at Lindahl. Sweden felt they had escaped, but Russo moved to the rebound and blindly backheeled it, catching Lindahl and everyone else by complete surprise to make it 3-0.

Lindahl’s day went from bad to worse as the veteran failed to catch Fran Kirby’s 76th minute lob, instead having to watch as it slowly bounced over the line for England’s fourth, giving the crowd in Sheffield the chance to start the party early.

England will face either Germany or France in the final, with those two playing their semifinal on Wednesday.

Watch all four of England’s goals

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Backheel nutmeg goal in Euro semifinal? Backheel nutmeg goal in Euro semifinal

England’s Alessia Russo produced a touch of the sublime against Sweden

Alessia Russo saved one of the sauciest goals she’ll ever score for the biggest game of her young career thus far.

With England already up two goals against Sweden in the Euro 2022 semifinal, Russo put the game on ice with an outrageous piece of skill.

Russo was perfectly set up by Fran Kirby but Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl saved her initial shot. After collecting the rebound, Russo surprised Lindahl with a quick-thinking backheel that went through the keeper’s legs for England’s third of the game.

England would go on to win the match 4-0, clinching a berth in Sunday’s final at Wembley against either France or Germany.

England into Euro 2022 final after storming past Sweden 4-0

The Manchester United star has been a spark off the bench for England at Euro 2022, coming on as a substitute in all five of her team’s games so far. She’s scored two goals as the Lionesses have won all of their matches.

Watch Russo’s outrageous goal vs. Sweden

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France missed a million chances, but beat the Netherlands anyway at Euro 2022

France found almost every possible way to not score in this one

France did nearly everything right in their Euro 2022 quarterfinal against the Netherlands, dominating nearly from start to finish and creating what felt like endless chances. Despite there being two star-packed lineups on display, only one team ever looked like winning it.

And yet, France nearly let this one get away from them. Ève Périsset’s extra time penalty kick, on a foul that was not initially called, was their only goal in a game where it felt like they could generate good scoring chances virtually at will.

Despite the Dutch actually getting to halftime with a virtually dead-even split of possession, it felt like France had set up shop in their end. Delphine Cascarino hit the post, while Sandie Toletti fired well over an open net midway through the half.

The halftime expected goals totals told the story, with the Dutch barely registering at all while France posted what would be a respectable total for a full 90 minutes.

Stefanie van der Gragt blocked two different shots on the line (one from Melvine Malard, and another from Grace Geyoro just seven minutes later) along with a series of last-ditch tackles while appearing to play most of the game in some state of pain.

The Netherlands made some savvy changes at halftime and seemed more able to compete, but within about 15 minutes France began to solve the problems the Dutch presented, and the game drifted back towards its offense vs. defense vibe.

France seemed likely to capitalize on a set piece, with the ball floating towards Griedge Mbock Bathy only for van der Gragt to somehow intervene again. Geyoro, in her very last action of the match and with the goal wide open for her, nodded a point-blank chance to the wrong side of the post.

Daphne van Domselaar—in just her fifth international appearance—made progressively better saves, forcing extra time by defying physics to somehow claw yet another Wendie Renard header away in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.

Renard had the appropriate reaction to this: a glance at the heavens followed by a rueful chuckle.

France didn’t initially get a penalty kick in extra time when Dominique Janssen took Kadidiatou Diani down in the box, but VAR finally decided to take mercy on them. Still, there was tension: their normal penalty taker, Renard, had missed earlier in the tournament against Belgium (and had an even worse miss from the resulting rebound).

Périsset ended up getting the nod instead, but van Domselaar still had a scare for France. The FC Twente goalkeeper got a glove to the ball and causing a split-second of panic before the penalty tucked into the bottom corner.

The final stats from UEFA credited France with 33 shots to just nine for the Netherlands, and if anything it felt like those numbers should be further apart. Nevertheless, France finally advanced past the quarterfinals, which it had never done before. They’ll face Germany this Wednesday, July 27, at Stadium MK.

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England downs Spain 2-1 in Euro 2022 quarterfinal thriller

A thunderous winner from Georgia Stanway sent England to the Euro 2022 semis

England and Spain produced a thriller in the quarterfinals of Euro 2022, with England winning 2-1 after extra time at a packed Falmer Stadium on Wednesday.

Spain dominated much of the first half, testing England goalkeeper Mary Earps, but had a sigh of relief in the final seconds of the first half. Ellen White’s goal just before halftime was called back, with multiple England players narrowly offside.

However, early in the second half, Spain took the lead after some wonderful work from Athenea del Castillo. The Real Madrid attacker nutmegged Rachel Daly before teeing her club teammate Esther González up to finish from eight yards out.

With the backing of a vociferous crowd in Brighton, England began to grow desperate, even throwing center back Millie Bright forward as an auxiliary forward for the final minutes. That direct approach paid off in the 84th minute, with Lauren Hemp chipping a ball to the back post for Alessia Russo. The Manchester United striker fought off two defenders to nod the ball down for Ella Toone to stab home the equalizer.

With the momentum in their favor to start extra time, England were flying forward, and Georgia Stanway charged forward to send a thunderbolt past Sandra Paños in the 95th minute to give the Three Lionesses a stunning lead.

Spain, showing signs of an old habit of being too easily thrown out of their stride, never truly mounted a push for a late winner until the very final minutes. However, even with Paños coming up for a stoppage time corner, England’s resolve held, sending the hosts through after an absorbing 120 minutes.

England will face the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal between Sweden and Belgium in a semifinal on Monday, July 26.

Enjoy Georgia Stanway’s wonder goal

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