Euro 2022: England's Lionesses come back from brink of elimination to move into semifinals

England rallied from the brink of elimination to beat Spain 2-1 in overtime and reach the semifinals of Euro 2022 thanks to Georgia Stanway's stunning strike.

Ether Gonzalez's opener had the hosts heading for an early exit, but Ella Toone rescued the Lionesses six minutes from the end of normal time before Stanway's winner took England into the last four of a fourth consecutive major tournament. Sarina Wiegman's team will face Sweden or Belgium in the final four on Tuesday.

England was given a boost pre-match with the return of Wiegman to the touchline after she tested negative for Covid-19 earlier in the day. The Lionesses had everything their own way in the group stage as they plundered 14 goals without reply against Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland. However, despite its own struggles to reach the knockout stages, Spain was a big step up in class.

"I won’t forget this day," said Wiegman. "A crazy day, I came with the team late, prepared, trying to stay calm. The whole game was a test. The level of this game was so high. I haven’t experienced that too much."

Spain had been pre-tournament favorites before injuries to reigning Ballon d'Or winner Alexia Putellas and all-time top goalscorer Jennifer Hermoso rocked their preparation. Jorge Vilda's side suffered its first defeat since 2019 to Germany in the group stage, but even in that game dominated possession of the ball.

Spain's ability to keep the ball off the hosts frustrated England and another sell-out crowd of 29,000 in Brighton for the vast majority of the first 90 minutes.
England has still never lost in now 18 games since Wiegman took charge in September. But the Lionesses have never come so close to defeat in that time and had to show admirable fight to battle back from a goal down.

"That just shows the level that we're at," said Stanway. "We get a setback and we come back and do it."

Spanish substitute Athenea Del Castillo jinked past Rachel Daly and squared for Gonzalez, who had time to take a touch before firing low into the far corner. Mary Earps then had to make a brilliant save to prevent a cross from the lively Del Castillo from floating into the far corner to double Spain's lead.

Wiegman did not waste time in turning to her bench with Ellen White, Fran Kirby and the tournament's top goalscorer Beth Mead surprisingly sacrificed for the introduction of Chloe Kelly, Alessia Russo and Toone.

"We were behind and knew we had to do something," added Wiegman. "We scored quickly after doing that so we could go back into our normal shape. The fans were behind us, you could feel it. This is home advantage."

Wiegman's changes had the desired effect to keep England's hopes of a first major tournament win in the women's game alive. Lauren Hemp's cross was headed down by Russo, the former University of North Carolina star, for her Manchester United teammate Toone to fire in from close range.

Suddenly, the momentum completely swung in England's favor and six minutes into overtime it led. Stanway drove forward before the Bayern Munich-bound midfielder smashed the ball past Sandra Panos from outside the box.

Aitana Bonmati came closest to a reply when she fired wide early in the second period of overtime. But Spain's wait to win a knockout game at a major women's tournament goes on.


© Agence France-Presse

25 comments about "Euro 2022: England's Lionesses come back from brink of elimination to move into semifinals".
  1. Santiago 1314, July 21, 2022 at 12:33 a.m.

    Tiki-Taka takes Another Black Eye.!!!

  2. frank schoon, July 21, 2022 at 3:03 a.m.

    I watched some of the first half and about 5min in the beginning of 2nd half ,  and my conclusion was Spain would win it for I wasn't impressed one bit with England. Spain controlled the game , England had difficulties controlling the ball under pressure which is a major weakness US ball.
    Although Spain lost in overtime, they were the team that actually exemplified how soccer should be other words they played football. That win by England is meaningless in the broader scope of things as far footballing goes. If I had choice of watching Spanish women play, compared to English, the former be my choice for I would see many more of the elements of soccer.

    The problem with Spanish soccer is their DNA does not produce great goal scorers throughout their history of soccer, it has all been foreigners, Messi, Cruyff, Kubala, DiStefano, Romario, etc.,...Remember in the 2014WC Spain used a naturalized Brazilian. 


  3. Santiago 1314 replied, July 21, 2022 at 6:51 a.m.

    Mi Amigo Frank...It's Not Just Spain....
    "If we keep on struggling to feel these things and finish these things off, it will not be the first time we get punished. If you keep an opponent alive, belief alive, the stadium alive, anything can happen. That’s why we love the game."... Tuechel after Chelsea LOST in PKs(Kicks from the Mark) to ¿¿Charlotte.??...
    This is why I Say USA WILL WIN THE WORLD CUP IN 2026.!!!!

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, July 21, 2022 at 7:55 a.m.

    Frank, Who is KIK PIERIE.???..."American" CB on Ajax Roster.( 22yrs Old...7/20/22...

  5. Ben Myers replied, July 21, 2022 at 8:22 a.m.

    DNA????  Spanish training methods.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, July 21, 2022 at 9:14 a.m.

    Ben, Training skilled players is meaningless if a senior coach don't know how to use skilled players. The US doesn't develop smart skilled players because that doesn't fit their view of the game. They was disciplined players with superior physical skills. I.e, fast players that follow intstructions.

  7. frank schoon replied, July 21, 2022 at 9:23 a.m.

    Santi, I'll have to check this out...never heard of him

  8. frank schoon replied, July 21, 2022 at 10:09 a.m.

    Ben, when you look at Spanish soccer history their lack of great scorers can only be seen through DNA, not through lack of training methods. Great goal scorers are not created by great training methods, I wish it was that easy. There are just too many aspects you need that are not trainable.  Look at Zlatan, he scores goals, 99% of which are simple, nothing special, very basic. You can the train all you want on the basics but that is not a guarantee for becoming a great goal scorer.
    Spain, throughout their history has been known for buying great players from foreign countries. Just look the great Real Madrid. Holland's DNA has produced always produced great attackers, not because they have great training methods for they are similar no matter where you go.

    The Dutch have a history of great attackers and over the years these tend to follow their heroes which somehow creates a DNA. Each country has a certain DNA that influences their style along with producing a type of player.
    Training methods are all the same , they are all copied, and taught at coaching schools, nothing new there.
    This is why I say there are other factors that make great goal scorers....

  9. frank schoon replied, July 21, 2022 at 10:20 a.m.

    Santi, he's a Dutch kid ,Dutch parents, who happen to be working here at the time when he was born. He also has brother that plays in Holland.

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, July 21, 2022 at 11 a.m.

    Wonder why he hasn't been "Recruited" In.???... Dutch Youth National Team player... Looks like he might be out Injured at the Moment... Wasn't that way the other day.

  11. frank schoon replied, July 21, 2022 at 11:31 a.m.

    Santi, Kik was loaned to Fc Twente, didn't play much, Ajax has let it be known that he can leave Ajax. 

  12. Bob Ashpole, July 21, 2022 at 4:27 a.m.

    Spain is a program that has obviously improved its play over the past 7 years.

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, July 21, 2022 at 6:56 a.m.

    Bob, their Technical ability was Stunning... How do you score enough goals to Bury a Bunker Team.???
    This is the Question and the Problem for Positional Play Teams.

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, July 21, 2022 at 9:03 a.m.

    Santi, positional play is how the team advances the ball until the team has a good shape controlling the middle third. That doesn't mean they don't exploit space behind the opposing back line when its there. Otherwise all systems face the same challenge in breaking down a bunkered defense. 

    The traditional US approach was to cross a hopeful ball hoping that tall players in the box would get lucky or else play for a corner kick. The Barca approach at the height of "Tiki-taki" was to pull the defense to the strongside then switch the ball to the weak side to exploit the space created. A more common possession style approach would be to withdraw upfield to draw the opponent upfield until space was created behind the opponent's back line to exploit. The primary difference between possession style and others is patience. Possession style wants to create a quality chance while other teams might take low percentage shots. 

  15. Santiago 1314 replied, July 22, 2022 at 10:30 p.m.

    Bob, I got to Disagree with you on your View of Tiki-Taka (Positional Play)... Ever since I remember(Back-In-The-Day, Last Century) We worked on; Short-Short/Switch... Drawing the Opponent to One Side of the Field and then Switching it to the "Weak-Side" Zone(1/3rd)...
    That Aspect hasn't Changed... The "Evolution" that Tiki-Barca brought to the Game was the the PRECISION "SLIP PASS" between the FLAT 4 (CBs and Fullbacks)... With Players like Messi, Iniesta and Xavi; they Could Play "Between" the Lines and Catch Villa or Suarez on their Diagonal Runs In-Behind, AT WILL ... It didn't matter if they were out Wide or Even more Dangerously, RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE... It was interesting to see Pulisic playing; IN-BETWEEN The Lines the other night versus Charlotte(Google/Utube Pulisic Touches vs Charlotte).. Instead of Staying out Wide on the Sideline, Like he does Normally, he was Checking back in LF/Ct Channel..{The 2nd of 5 Channels that Positional Play Diagrams, Instead of the Old "Standard" 3 Channels} He was setting up in  "The Box" formed by the 2 Defensive Zonal Lines, ...This is Similar to what Iniesta used to do for Barca... I'm not Convinced that this is Best for USA or Pulisic, but I have LONG said, that CP is a "Servicible" Replacement for Iniesta at Barca ..
    Instead, Farça is going with the "Turbo" Forwards... I doubt if even Xavi can Pull OFF the Next "Evolution" of Tiki-Taka with this Current Barca Squad ... And there is Neither the "Slip-Passer" or The "Slip-Receiver" on this Current Barca Squad... Hala Madrid.!!!

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, July 22, 2022 at 11:16 p.m.

    Santi, perhaps you recall me saying several years ago that what I saw over the years was some Latin style teams incorporating long passes with their short passing game and coming up with the best of both worlds. When I played competitively in the mid-80s, I played on a mostly Hispanic team which used combination passing like you. All my team mates had been born and raised in soccer nations. From what I have seen outside of those "melded" teams teams pretty much played a stiff physical game with a lot of wing play, very direct and predictable. 

    Bottom line: You, me, Frank and a lot of guys here are not typical of conventional US soccer.

  17. Wayne Norris, July 21, 2022 at 7:05 a.m.

    Somebody please explain to my why an International defender would have her arms behind her back 5-10 yards OUTSIDE her 18 box!!

    We can talk all day about pretty soccer, receiving the ball properly, etc......

    But in soccer many times games are won and LOST by an individual moment of brilliance (nice strike) or absolute stupidity!! 


  18. Bob Ashpole, July 21, 2022 at 9:10 a.m.

    Advoiding a free kick close to the box especially when protecting a lead is very important.

  19. Wayne Norris replied, July 21, 2022 at 9:14 a.m.

    Bob, not at expense of not playing basic defense and by the way almost all hand balls occur on deflections or when defender is too close to react. When you are defending a shooter in open space you can react to shot and bring arms in.

    gotta push back on this one....

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, July 21, 2022 at 9:19 a.m.

    What "basic defense" requires use of the hands? This isn't basketball.

  21. Philip Carragher, July 21, 2022 at 9:34 a.m.

    I enjoyed watching this game and panicked when I realized I hadn't taped the overtime. Ugh! Attractive soccer. Thank you Spain. Like the commentator said, "They're easy on the eyes". We need that here in the U.S. if we want our men's team to make a quantum leap in our international competitiveness and our women's team to keep it's top ranking because the attractiveness of the play is where the soul of soccer resides. Not in the score or the wins. Attractive soccer will put more fans in the seats and with it, more really good athletes on the pitch for the U.S. Most great young male athletes would prefer to play a sport that most people respect and want to watch. For most of them, soccer isn't that but can be. We need to play the long game and by that I don't mean kick-and-run soccer but that we need to focus on manifesting the beautiful game like Spain did but it'll take time, patience, and focus.

  22. Santiago 1314 replied, July 22, 2022 at 10:54 p.m.

    Philip, what will put more "Young Male Athletes" in Soccer is MONEY.!!!... ATTRACTIVE SOCCER IS IRRELEVANT... WINNING SOCCER GAMES AGAINST THE BEST IN THE WORLD IS WHAT "AMERICANS" WANT.!!!... That is why the Olympics is SO Important... Average American fan gets; "The Miracle on Ice"...
    Having the BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD(In their Prime) is what Americans Want ...  Be it Baseball or NBA ... MLS is a Retiree or "Sell On" League... Probably Always Be... We don't have enough Teams/Money/Tradition in this Continent to make a "Champions League" that would Attract The Best, at Their Prime... "American" Fans want GOALS; Fast Paced, Athletic, Creative, Powerful Sports... 
    All the USA Sports have "Evolved" away from "4 Corners", Grind-It-Out, Pitchers Hitting, To; 24 second clock, Forward Pass, The DH...
    It's a Bleak Picture for MLS; Smaller, Less Athletic, Central or South America Players, 

  23. Bob Ashpole replied, July 23, 2022 at 3:25 a.m.

    Santi, in soccer shorter is an advantage for field players. Shorter limbs are quicker and less height means lower center of gravity. Smaller is also an advantage for field players. Less mass requires less energy = an endurance advantage. The physical requirements of soccer are very unlike American football and also very differnet from basketball and baseball.

    Height is an advantage for keepers and for CBs trying to glance header a cross before it reaches its intended target. As for other field players, I have seen short field players jump head and shoulders above the crossbar. More height doesn't help.

    Making up for a lack of technical skill with being bigger and taller will not win against the best teams. Yeah it works for high school against lower tier teams, but it isn't a future. 

  24. Philip Carragher replied, July 24, 2022 at 8:53 a.m.

    Santi, I will alway appreciate your passion for soccer, but the approach you advocate for is the same one US soccer has been following for too long now. We're a second-rate soccer power on the men's side, and I'm ok with that. After watching some of the women's EuroCup, I think our women's program may find itself struggling to continue to be King of the Hill (can I say that?) soon. I'd like to see us either fully commit to a re-write of our player development program much like what US Hockey did years ago, or relax and celebrate soccer in a way that takes full advantage of all the soccer fields and gymnasiums we have as well as school soccer, high school and college soccer, that adds a valuable richness to student and student/athlete's lives. You want wins? Goals? It's our player development system that I've personally witnessed to be the villain in taking out natural goal scorers at the knees. If US Soccer wants to continue on it's merry but clumsy way, they should carve out a little section that would focus on identifying and coaching-up the natural strikers and ferry them to the national team untouched by the goofballs who would trip them up.

    we either need to fully commit to trying to win the World Cup

    You've been asking about how a tiki-taka team can beat a team that focuses on winning rather than on style? Maybe it can't as consistently as "Americans" would prefer, but I'd rather watch a stylistic soccer match that features surprises that delight me rather than

  25. Philip Carragher, July 24, 2022 at 8:58 a.m.

    I guess I'm more tired than I thought I was.

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