Alessia Russo’s incredible trickery was a highlight of England’s 4-0 loss to Sweden at Women’s EURO 2022 on Tuesday, sending the Lionesses through to the final.
Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby also scored for England, but it was Russo’s goal that particularly showed both the spirit and drive of the Lionesses attack. The Manchester United player had her initial save stopped but followed the rebound on its way to goal, slamming a back heel into traffic and between the legs of legendary Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.
It’s as much of a surprise as one can consider given England’s status as hosts, but genuine qualifying due to Sweden’s status in the European game. Sweden entered the tournament as the highest-rated team in Europe, one place below the No. 1 USA women’s national team, while England were in 8th place.
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The English women will play their third European Championship final after defeats against Sweden in 1984 and Germany in 2009.
An England v Germany final, should the Germans take care of France at 3pm ET on Wednesday, presents a fitting way for England to claim their first EURO crown.
Germany have won eight of the 12 European Women’s Championships – one in West Germany – and won six in a row between 1995 and 2013.
But coach Sarina Wiegmann and the Netherlands ended Germany’s reign, beating England en route to a 4-2 loss to Denmark in the 2017 final. Hired by England, she can now win back-to-back EURO crowns with different nations.
England women reach EURO final with audacious goal (video) originally appeared on NBCSports.com