The 2022 European Championships Final is Upon Us
Updated: Aug 3, 2022
The European Championships final is set to be the most attended international women’s football game ever in not only England but Europe. Wembley was sold out within an hour when tickets were first released, which means it was well before fans knew that the home team, England would be in the final. This Euros has already broken attendance records with sellouts throughout both the group and knockout stages. There also have been record numbers in terms of television numbers as the semifinal between England and Sweden reached a peak of 9.3 million viewers across the BBC platforms in England. England and Germany have had dominant runs to the final, both teams only conceding one goal each.
England was in Group A for the group stage. They opened with a hard-fought win over Austria with a goal from Beth Mead. The Lionesses faced Norway for their second game, shocking the world by defeating the Norwegians 8-0 after a 6-0 first half. They finished the group stage with a 5-0 win over Northern Ireland. In the quarterfinals, they faced rising Spain who put England up against a wall for the first time in the tournament as Spain was able to get on the scoresheet first with a goal from Esther González in the 54’. Ella Toone equalized for England in the 84’ as Manchester United teammate Alessia Russo assisted her goal. Georgia Stanway scored this screamer to put England up 2-1 in the 96’.
Her goal was enough to see England through to the semifinal. England was set to face Olympic silver medalists Sweden in the semifinals and absolutely destroyed the Swedes in a 4-0 rout. The star of the show in this game was substitute Alessia Russo who scored a backheel-nutmeg goal to seal the victory for England in the 68’. The goal has been shared across social media as jaws drop every time they watch it.
Currently, Beth Mead is tied atop the golden boot race with six goals but holds the tiebreaker as she also has four assists. Mead scored a hat trick and recorded an assist against Norway.
Germany was drawn into Group B and was able to top the group, with a perfect record. They started strong with a dominant 4-0 win over 2017 finalists, Denmark. Germany’s style of high pressure has given them a lot of success throughout this tournament but their second group stage game against Spain was one of the best examples of this. Germany won 2-0 with two first-half goals despite having 30% throughout the entire game. The Germans finished strong in the group with a 3-0 win over Finland. Germany faced Austria in the semifinals and was able to beat the strong defensive Austrian squad 2-0. The pressure put on by the Germans was too much for the Austrian team to handle as Alexandra Popp and Lina Magull were both able to capitalize on the chances given to them. With their quarterfinal win, Germany was set to face France in the semifinal. Popp got the Germans off to a good start with an amazing side volley goal in the 40’.
France responded in the 44’ as Kadidiatou Diani fired a shot at a goal that hit the post, bounced off Merle Frohms’ back, and gave the French the game-tying goal. Popp scored again in the 76’ to seal the victory for the German squad. Popp is tied with Mead for the golden boot after scoring in every game of the Euros. Popp had not played in a European Championship before this tournament and is making the most of her time.
Germany are the eight-time European champions and are undefeated in final games. These teams last met in the final in 2009 as Germany beat England 6-2 to claim their seventh title. If Germany wins today, they will reassert themselves as one of the best teams in the world after falling off for a bit after their surprise exit in the quarterfinals in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. If England wins, this will be the first major trophy for either England national team since the men’s 1966 World Cup win and the Lionesses' first ever major trophy. It will be a game for the ages and no matter who wins, it will go down in history.