European Championship: End of the dream trip for DFB women - "It hurts"

Prince William's words of encouragement didn't help much either, and many tears flowed from the German soccer players in the confetti rain.

European Championship: End of the dream trip for DFB women - "It hurts"

Prince William's words of encouragement didn't help much either, and many tears flowed from the German soccer players in the confetti rain. At the mega-party hosted by England in the Madhouse Wembley, the only thing left for the record European champions was to be a spectator when the catchy tune "Football's coming home" rang out from the speakers.

After a big fight and a lot of advertising for women's football, the German team's dream trip ended with a bitter knockout. in overtime. National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had to do a lot of construction work in the circle on the lawn after the 1: 2 (1: 1, 0: 0) after extra time against the host team from England. The dream of winning the European Championship was so close, even without the injured captain and goalscorer Alexandra Popp.

Chloe Maggie Kelly's winning goal in the 110th minute in front of a record crowd of 87,192 spectators at the European Championships caused deafening cheers in the football temple of London and the Lionesses' first international title ever. It was the start of a huge celebration, even the Queen wrote a letter of congratulations and spoke of a "significant achievement" and an "inspiration". Lina Magull (79th) equalized the hosts' lead for the first time through Ella Toone (62nd) and made Germany dream of the title.

"It's just hurting"

Scorer Popp could only watch the spectacle with a sad expression. The 31-year-old from Wolfsburg had to pass shortly before kick-off due to muscular problems. Even if it wasn't enough to win the title in the end, Germany's soccer players will be honored on Monday at the Römer in Frankfurt.

"It just hurts. We gave our all for 120 minutes and didn't let the 1-0 deficit deter us. Unfortunately, we didn't reward ourselves. We have to let that sink in first. We're still happy and proud that we have reached so many people," said substitute captain Svenja Huth on ARD. DFB President Bernd Neuendorf added: "It hurts a lot. We didn't play worse. We were very unlucky." Whether it would have been different with Popp is "hypothetical," said Neuendorf. But other players like Magull went ahead.

Voss-Tecklenburg was a fair loser. "We were close after 1-1," she said. "The second goal was extremely unfortunate. Goals decide games. England played a great tournament." Even if the game was lost, Germany won a lot of sympathy. Chancellor Olaf Scholz was also enthusiastic. The SPD politician acknowledged "the world-class performance in a close game" on Twitter. It was an exciting tournament. "The whole of Germany is proud of this team."

First title for England since 1966

England, meanwhile, exuberantly celebrated their first title since the men's World Cup triumph in 1966 in the legendary final against Germany and did better than Harry Kane and Co., who lost their European Championship final to Italy the previous year. "Oh my god, it's unique. Thanks to every single person who supported us, it's so unreal. That's what dreams are made of. For a little girl who used to watch women's football, it's incredible," said match winner Kelly .

Goosebumps prevailed almost continuously in Wembley, where a lot of celebrities had gathered. It was the largest crowd ever recorded at a European Championship - whether male or female.

Huth after Popp shock as captain

First, the DFB team had to digest a shock. When the two teams came out of the players' tunnel, Svenja Huth surprisingly led the German team instead of Popp. The six-time goal scorer had to pass immediately before the kick-off, so Germany's footballer of the year Lea Schüller was in the starting line-up. How bitter for Popp, the match winner from the France game, who had to put up with so many injury-related setbacks in her career and only made her European Championship debut at the age of 31 a few weeks ago in the 4-0 opener against Denmark.

It might have been the bad news before kick-off, but it could also have been the impressive atmosphere - the German team started nervously and found themselves under equal pressure from the English side in an intense game. First a header from Ellen White (3rd), then striker Beth Mead was free from the outside (9th) - but keeper Merle Frohms didn't let herself be duped.

Hegering misses a huge opportunity to lead

There were also German pinpricks, such as the blocked shot by Sara Däbritz (10th). And in the middle of the first half, Marina Hegering even had a huge chance to take the lead when the Lionesses were able to poke the ball away just before the finish line. But when the video referee checked a possible hand penalty in this scene, it suddenly became very quiet in the big group. But the penalty whistle didn't come.

In this phase, however, the English women had more of the game, who caused great problems for the DFB selection with their physical game. The pressing didn't work as desired for the record European champion either. However, because the hosts too hastily and imprecisely acted with their shots, as with White's shot, it remained goalless in the first 45 minutes.

Toone lobs the lead, Magull responds

In the second round, the German team went forward and created two great chances through substitute Tabea Waßmuth (48th) and the outstanding Magull (49th). Shortly thereafter, Schüller came a bit too late with a long ball (57th).

That should pay off. With a long ball, the German defense was not up to par. Toone, who came on as a substitute six minutes earlier, lobbed the ball into the German goal. The Voss-Tecklenburg team wanted a quick answer. But Magull initially failed with a shot against the post, Schüller's follow-up shot was too harmless (66'). But the pressure kept increasing, only Germany played. And finally Magull was there after Wassmuth had submitted.

It was getting quieter and quieter at Wembley, and with good reason. Germany pushed the English back more and more into their own half and had a much larger share of the game. But England didn't give up and thanks to Kelly they had the better end for themselves. The 24-year-old from Manchester City poked the ball into the goal when she was careless, tore off her jersey and cheered in her sports bra. Germany threw everything forward again - without success.

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