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EURO CHAMPIONS!

The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 at Wembley to win Euro 2022 thanks to goals from substitutes Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly…reports Asian Lite News

The Queen has led the tributes to England’s Euro 2022 winners, sending a message of congratulations in which she called them “an inspiration”.

The Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 at Wembley thanks to goals from substitutes Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly.

It is England’s first major tournament success since the 1966 men’s World Cup.

“My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Championships,” a statement from the UK monarch said.

The Queen’s message added: “It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff.

“The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise. However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations. It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”

Prince William, writing on his Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Twitter account, said: “Sensational. An incredible win. The whole nation couldn’t be prouder of you all. Wonderful to see history in the making tonight at Wembley, congratulations!”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised Sarina Wiegman’s side on social media, writing: “Football has come home! A stunning victory by the Lionesses.

“Huge congratulations to Sarina [Wiegman, manager], Leah [Williamson, captain] and the whole team. Football pitches across the country will be filled as never before by girls and women inspired by your triumph.”

In front of a record crowd of 87,192 for any match in the history of the European Championships, Kelly prodded home a loose ball from close range to end English football’s 56-year wait for a World Cup or Euro victory.

England looked set for victory in the 90 minutes when substitute Ella Toone’s sublime chip over Merle Frohms put the hosts in front.

Germany showed remarkable resilience to bounce back as Lina Magull levelled 11 minutes from time.

But for once, England were not to be denied a major tournament success.

Kelly fought back from an anterior cruciate ligament tear to be fit in time for the tournament and made herself a national hero by being in the right place to pounce when Germany failed to clear a corner in the 110th minute.

Fortune did not favour Germany, who lost captain and top goalscorer Alexandra Popp to a muscle injury in the warm-up.

But England will feel their time for some luck was due as 12 months on from the Three Lions’ defeat on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 men’s final, the nation’s women went one better.

England manager Sarina Wiegman has now led the home nation to the title in back-to-back women’s Euros after leading the Netherlands to victory five years ago.

Under Wiegman, England are unbeaten in 20 games but were pushed to the limit by the eight-time winners despite missing the massive presence of Popp.

The Wolfsburg striker, who missed the entirety of Euro 2013 and 2017 through injury, had scored six goals in five games on route to the final.

Despite losing their major goal threat and facing the intimidating atmosphere of a full Wembley waiting to party, Germany showed remarkable resilience.

England were saved by desperate defending from a combination of Mary Earps, Leah Williamson and Millie Bright then prevented Marina Hegering from turning in a corner.

Wiegman did not make a change to the England starting line-up throughout the whole tournament as she resisted the clamour for Alessia Russo to start ahead of Ellen White up front.

White, England women’s all-time leading goalscorer, had the hosts best chance before the break but blazed Beth Mead’s cut-back over.

Germany started the second half even stronger and were inches away from the vital opening goal when Magull prodded just wide at the end of a flowing team move.

Strength in depth has been one of the key features of England’s success under Wiegman and the Dutch coach turned to Russo and Toone to turn the tide as they did in the quarter-final win over Spain.

The changes worked to perfection once more as Toone timed her run through the heart of the German defence to latch onto Keira Walsh’s through ball and showed the composure to coolly lift the ball over Frohms.

Lesser sides than the eight-time champions would have been broken, but Germany immediately pushed forward in search of an equaliser.

The excellent Magull smashed a shot off the post and Popp’s replacement Lea Schueller should have converted the rebound rather than rolling the ball into the arms of the grateful Earps.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side were not to be denied, though, and fittingly it was Magull who sent the game to extra-time as the Bayern Munich midfielder slotted Tabea Wassmuth’s cross into the roof of the net.

The German attack was further blunted by Magull’s withdrawal at the end of 90 minutes due to a knock and both sides felt the pace of a physical encounter in the extra 30 minutes.

England just had enough left in the tank to finally get the job done as Germany failed to deal with the second ball from a corner and Kelly’s telescopic right leg flicked the ball home.

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