England’s route to the finals – How we got here, a look back at W Euro 2022 campaign
A look back at England’s route to the final with resilience and spectacular goals on display, this W Euro 2022 campaign has shone a light on a whole new approach, a whole new team – a winning team. The Lionesses have roared their way to Wembley, and along the way inspired many girls and women across the country to get involved in the sport. Whilst the TV coverage has been excellent and the stadiums have been packed – the narrative around women’s football is starting to change.
England 1-0 Austria – Group stage
The Lionesses kicked off their campaign with a win after an early Beth Mead goal secured victory over Austria.
The game saw a competition-record crowd of 58,871. Lauren Hemp was denied by a great save from the Austria goalkeeper in the first-half stoppage time, while England goalie Mary Earps did well to push away a Barbara Dunst effort after the break.
England 8-0 Norway – Group stage
In one of the most exciting games of the competition, England bagged their place in the quarter-finals by hammering Norway 8-0. It’s the biggest win in the competition’s history.
England scored six in the first half, including a 12th-minute penalty from Georgia Stanway and a finish from Hemp three minutes later being followed by two goals each from Ellen White and Mead.
Mead completed her hattrick and substitute Alessia Russo also bagged a goal.
England 5-0 Northern Ireland – Group stage
England maintained their incredible run, as Russo scored two with a commanding 5-0 win over Northern Ireland in Southampton.
The first goal came in the 40th minute when Fran Kirby’s lofted curled strike broke the deadlock.
Mead doubled the advantage with her fourth goal of the tournament just before half-time and Russo found the net twice.
Kelsie Burrows sliced the ball over goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns and into her own net, giving England their fifth goal.
England 2-1 Spain – Quarter-finals
The first major test of the tournament for England, who were held by a dominant Spain for the majority of the first half.
England battled their way back from a goal down to claim a place in the semi-finals as Stanway’s incredible extra-time strike sealed a 2-1 victory at the Amex Stadium.
Spain’s Ester Gonzalez put Spain ahead with a 54th-minute goal before Ella Tonne scored and levelled it up, just six minutes before the normal time came to a close.
The crowd of 28,994 went wild when Stanway scored a stunner past Sandra Panos just six minutes into extra-time as England secured a place in a fourth successive major tournament semi-final.
England 4-0 Sweden – semi-finals
It was the game where the odds were stacked against England. Sweden – the world’s second-best team – was expected to win, but England proved this new era of the Lionesses is the start of something truly remarkable.
Mead’s sixth goal of W Euro 2022 set England on their way to Sunday’s final, slotting away a 34-minute goal to take the lead. The Lionesses soon doubled their advantage with a Lucy Bronze header from a corner kick.
Perhaps the goal of the competition – Russo’s incredible backheel goal through the keeper’s legs – came in the 68th -minute, topped off by Kirby adding a chipped goal over the keeper to seal England’s win.
The stadium was packed, a crowd of 28,624 at Bramall Lane broke out into spontaneous singing, and cheering and overall joy was all around the stadium.