England beat Brazil on penalties in the Women’s Final

At Wembley, England won the inaugural Women’s Final by beating Brazil on penalties.

The Final is a match played between the winning national team of the European Championship and the Copa America. After the 2022 men’s edition won by Argentina over Italy, England winners of Euro 2022 and Brazil winners of the Copa America 2022 challenged each other at Wembley.

This is the first draw between England and Brazil in regular time. In fact, the previous 3 had seen a couple of English victories and a Brazilian one.

With this victory, the national team coached by Sarina Wiegman has reached the quota of 30 consecutive useful results. Since the Dutchman’s arrival on the bench, England have never lost. The series has been going on for more than two and a half years, or since Wiegman’s debut on 17 September 2021 in England-North Macedonia. In that span, the Lionesses scored 138 goals, conceded just 10 and obtained 20 clean sheets. The last defeat dates back to 13 April 2021 for 0-2 against Canada, when Hege Riise was still on the English bench.

There are 83,132 fans in the stands for this Final. Among the spectators also the Brazilian footballer of Totttenham Richarlison to some former English footballers such as the winners of Euro 2022 Jill Scott and Ellen White. The latter received the golden boot at half-time for becoming the best goalscorer in the history of the England women’s national team with 52 goals and a special jersey for her 113 appearances.

Both teams took to the field in the Final with the new kits. It was the occasion for England to wear blue shorts for the first time in their usually all-white home kit. The color change is due to players’ concerns about wearing white shorts during menstrual cycle days.

The players of England and Brazil played with a purple armband in solidarity with the Canadian players. In fact, for their protest against the federation, the North Americans have chosen the color purple as a symbol of the fight for equality. The Lionesses had already played with the purple armband during the Arnold Clark Cup. In addition, England captain Leah Williamson wore the One Love armband as usual.

Before the kick-off, a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Pelè, which turned into a minute of applause while videos of the feats of the Brazilian legend who died on December 29, 2022 scrolled on the big screen.

The Chronicle of the Final

It’s a first half lacking in emotion and with a well-defined script: England play the game and Brazil close in defense and wait. This is also confirmed by the data from the first half: 81% ball possession for the English team and 9 shots, 4 of which on target.

The first conclusion of the match belongs to England with Alessia Russo’s header in the 6th minute which ends up wide. In the 14th minute Lucy Bronze from outside the area makes the first shot on target for the Lionesses, saved by Leticia.

The only green-gold shot in the first half of the game was Geyse’s in the 19th minute. The Barcelona striker tries a left-footed shot at the far post, but is blocked by Jess Carter.

England unlocks the match in the 23rd minute through Ella Toone. Former Manchester City players Lucy Bronze and Georgia Stanway triangulate near the Brazilian penalty area. Bronze from the bottom puts a low cross up to the penalty spot for Toone, who scores with a diagonal shot.

In the second half, Brazil immediately tried to make themselves dangerous after 40 seconds with newcomer Andressa Alves. The conclusion of the Roma player, the first in the mirror for the green and gold, however, is too weak to worry Mary Earps.

The first real dangerous conclusion of the Seleçao is Geyse’s shot from outside in the 59th minute, which forces Earps to save himself in a corner kick. In the second half, the first shot on target for England was Stanway’s shot from outside the area in the 67th minute.

In the 68th minute, Alex Greenwood had a ball stolen by Geyse in a very dangerous area. The Barça player enters the area but, despite a 3-on-one situation, Leah Williamson manages to intercept the pass for a teammate and avert the danger.

With the match now on the end credits, Brazil finds the draw with Andressa, good at taking advantage of Earps’ mistake, who doesn’t keep the ball. It ends 1-1 and it goes directly to penalties.

It was therefore England who began the series of shots from the spot, with Stanway beating Leticia. Earps gets there on Adriana’s shot, but it’s not enough to avoid the Brazilian’s goal. Then Toone kicks weak and not very angled, allowing Leticia to parry her shot. Immediately after Earps saved the penalty at half height of the left-handed Tamires, bringing the result back to a draw. Then Rachel Daly struck as Rafaelle hit the crossbar to give England the lead. Greenwood displaces Leticia and Kerolin does the same with Earps. As in the final of the European Championship, the goal that is worth the victory comes from Kelly’s foot, who scores the decisive penalty. England therefore beat Brazil 4-2 on penalty shootouts.

England-Brazil 4-2 pens

Scorers: 23′ Toone; 93′ Andressa

Formations:

Inghilterra (4-3-3): Earps; Carter, Greenwood, Williamson, Bronze; Toone, Walsh, Stanway: Hemp (88’ Robinson), Russo (74’ Daly), James (74’ Kelly). Allenatrice: Wiegman

Brazil (5-3-2): Leticia; Tamires, Rafaelle, Lauren (46′ Andressa), Antonia (87′ Gabi Nunes); Kerolin, Luana (69′ Duda), Ari (87′ Fernanda); Geyse, Beatriz (46′ Adriana). Allenatrice: Sundhage

Martina Pozzoli



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