Women's Euro: England are Champions!
Keith Boanas, former manager of Estonia Women, was at Wembley to witness the fantastic moment when England became European Champions and lifted the roof off the stadium by lifting the Cup!
What can we say WOW! I was privileged to be there with Copey who I can tell you was as nervous and emotional as any of that England squad. I looked at her sitting tearful scanning the stadium and could only imagine what was going through her head. Decades of memories and battles won and lost in the women’s game.
For sure no jealousy in regard the squad of today and she has often quoted she would never swap her teammates and time in the game. But I could feel for her that she would have so relished and deserved this platform.
So, to the game, Germany losing Popp pre -match with an injury in the warm up looked a big plus for England as they for me dominated the first half going forward with that familiar line up. Germany looked the nervier of the two teams struggling to come to terms with the loss of their Talisman.
Mead & Hemp playing on opposite wings in the first 20 minutes proved effective and both seemed to have the run on their full backs. Walsh and Stanway were providing great probing passes and the back line were retaining the ball well when needed and choosing the right moments to go forward. However, we did not capitalise with that much needed goal.
Plus, some contentious yellow cards from the official was causing concern as to us keeping 11 players on the pitch.
Keith Boanas and Mrs B "Copey" at the Women's Euro Final.
Germany came out after the break with a more determined attitude and went for a high pressing game in numbers. That seemed to make us panic in possession and errors occured. The inevitable game changers were introduced – Russo and Toone for White and Kirby. This was to be a defining moment. Against the run of play another superbly weighted pass from Walsh found Ella Toone in behind and her superb control and awareness of the situation under some pressure saw her loft the keeper – 1-0 Wembley erupts.
Germany recovered and kept up their momentum – watching I was frustrated by the amount of times their wide players were allowed so much space and then able to move either toward the end line or inside and actually deliver. We constantly backed off or failed engage and at times it seemed we just trusted the fact the Mary Earp’s was catching crosses as easy as picking apples from a tree.
But eventually a low whipped in delivery saw an equally technically great goal from Germanys Magull. 1-1 game back on – the influence of the young star Oberdorf was limited by the England midfield and by now Chloe Kelly added new power and energy replacing the injured Mead. Then Scott and Greenwood bringing both experience and enthusiasm into midfield to prepare for the potential extra time.
Both teams had half chances before the 90 minutes was done and extra time beckoned.
Limited to words so will speed up to that moment Chloe Kelly from one of many set pieces in the second period, pokes home the loose ball and history awaits that final whistle.
Not that all of them were not but the real standouts for me. WALSH, EARPS, & MEAD in that order. So amazing to be there and share that moment that must surely move the game forward at unprecedented pace and levels.
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