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England won their first football title since the World Cup in 1966



European Championship golden goal scorer Chloe Kelly is the youngest of seven children and has five brothers.  Childhood was spent near Wembley Stadium, and that's where the big dream came true.  This moment is even more special because due to an injury, the 24-year-old forward could not play for a long time since last summer, returning to the lineup only at the end of the season.

European Championship golden goal scorer Chloe Kelly is the youngest of seven children and has five brothers. Childhood was spent near Wembley Stadium, and that’s where the big dream came true. This moment is even more special because due to an injury, the 24-year-old forward could not play for a long time since last summer, returning to the lineup only at the end of the season.

Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/SCANPIX

Ilmārs Stūriška, “Latvijas Avīze”, JSC “Latvijas Mediji”


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A broken attendance record, a game-deciding referee’s error and cheers in the homeland of football – the final of the European Women’s Football Championship has left lasting records in history. England beat Germany 2-1 in extra time.

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Hand game

For women, the strongest European team has been determined since 1984, and this was the 13th final tournament. Overwhelming dominance for Germany, who have become champions eight times, winning all eight finals.

The ninth dragon’s head was not allowed to be cut off by England, for which in the second half Ella Thun scored a beautiful goal alone against the goalkeeper, but in the 110th minute Chloe Kelly skillfully played in the penalty area, standing out for the first time in the tournament.

Both main characters came on the pitch in the second half, Thun plays for Manchester United on a daily basis and Kelly for Manchester City. Lina Magulla stood out for the Germans.

87,192 spectators watched the game at Wembley Stadium in London, which is a record for both women’s and men’s European Championships. Strangely enough, this year the three most attended matches in Europe were in women’s football, as two “Barcelona” matches gathered more than 90 thousand fans.

For men, the best record of the European Championship has been held since 1964 – when 79,115 fans watched the match between Spain and the Soviet Union in Madrid.

This is the first title for English football since the World Cup in 1966.

It is interesting that at that time the English beat Germany in extra time in the final. Celebrations in the homeland of football, but in Germany wide attention is paid to the episode in the first half, when a penalty kick was not awarded in favor of the Germans for handball in the penalty area. G

Ukrainian judge Kateryna Moncula, the albino judge, was not told by her video colleagues that she needed to watch a replay.

“If I had been a video judge, I would have called the main one to watch the episode. From my point of view, this episode cannot be treated as a defender’s play – then the ball hits the partner’s hand, for which a penalty kick should not be awarded. I believe that there was a game with the hand and 11 meters, the question is about the card – yellow or red,” admitted one of Latvia’s best referees to “Latvijas Avīze”, wishing to remain anonymous.

Latvians abroad

“An emotional final, a record attendance and the popularity of women’s football has definitely grown,” said Liene Vāciete, assistant to the head coach of the Latvian women’s national team, Romanas Kvačova, who leads the Latvian U-15 and U-17 girls’ national teams. “I really liked the quarter-final between England and Spain, the home team was behind, but proved the strength of the team, strengthened the game with substitutions and came out strong. They deserve this title, very interesting team, strong coaching staff. In recent years, England has progressed, and even before the championship I thought that they could succeed.”

The German believes that women’s football has grown a lot in ten years, especially technical and tactical preparation: “You can feel that it is binding even for those who have only followed men’s football until now. When you look at the games of the final tournament, you realize that there is not much difference, there are even more emotions.”

The Latvian national team is in the same group with England in the World Cup qualification, and last fall the lionesses, as this team is called, did not spare the Latvians – 0:10 at home, 0:20 away. This is only the second selection tournament, which is held in the same way as the men’s, which means that all teams are together and there is no pre-qualification.

“It’s good that our players have the opportunity to play against teams of that level. Whatever the result, you have to play against the best to see in which direction you need to work. If we don’t play, we will never realize the reality. It was a painful experience, but we saw what we should strive for,” Liene Vāciete believes. She thinks that the gap to the best teams will decrease in the future.

Most of the players of the main team of the Latvian national team play abroad on a daily basis – in Poland, Iceland, Sweden, Italy. In the previous convocation in June, there were eight legionnaires.

“As far as I know, all the girls abroad only play football and do nothing else. You can’t clearly say that they are professionals, but there is an orientation towards it, because these are the first steps and it is not the highest level, but they earn a living from football,” says Vāciete, who previously also represented the Latvian national team.

“It’s good that the players have such opportunities, because there they get experience at a better level than the Latvian championship, they progress individually, they train in a higher intensity regime, most of them have playing time. However, it cannot be said that they are returning to Latvia much stronger.”

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Seven teams are participating in the Latvian women’s championship, with “Rīga” in the clear lead. In fact, it is the same “Riga Football School” that dominated in previous years, only under a different sign.

In second place is “Metta”. At one time, the Metians had the goal of becoming the champions of Latvia, and it must be said that the club is not far from the title in the women’s competition.

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