Dhe English women reached the final of the European Football Championship in their own country after a furious performance. The Lionesses beat Sweden 4-0 (1-0) in the semifinals in Sheffield on Tuesday evening and are in the European Championship final for the first time since 2009.
Beth Mead (34th minute), Lucy Bronze (48th), Alessia Russo (68th) – with a dream goal with a heel – and Fran Kirby (76th) scored for coach Sarina Wiegman’s team. England will face Germany or France in the final on Sunday at London’s Wembley Stadium. The opponent will be determined on Wednesday evening in Milton Keynes.
In front of 28,624 enthusiastic spectators in the Bramall Lane stadium, Sweden, second in the world rankings, got off to a better start and put England under pressure early on. England goalkeeper Mary Earps had to clear a shot from ex-Bayern professional Sofia Jakobsson in the first minute. Stina Blackstenius hit the crossbar. England initially struggled, especially offensively.
England women unbeaten in 19 games
It was only after Mead scored the opening goal that the hosts took control. Mead also provided the assist for Bronze’s header to make it 2-0. Substitute Russo failed to find Hedvig Lindahl in front of goal, but then converted the rebound and tunnelled the Swedish keeper with a remarkable back-heel. Sweden were beaten and Lindahl missed Kirby’s shot from 20 yards.
After semi-final defeats at the previous two European Championships, England, who are now unbeaten in 19 matches, could win their first major tournament title. In 1984 they lost the European Championship final against Sweden and in 2009 against Germany. In 2015, the Lionesses finished third at the World Championships.