England, first team qualified in the semi-finals after eliminating Spain

The more than 28,000 English supporters present Wednesday evening at the Community Stadium in Brighton will have trembled for a long time, before exulting with joy at the final whistle, at the end of extra time. While the “Three Lionesses” (the nickname of the players of the English selection) were trailing less than ten minutes from the end of their quarter-final against Spain, they managed to turn the tide to win in extra time (2-1, ap) thanks to the decisive and splendid goal of Georgia Stanway, and qualify for the last four of what seems to be their Euro.

However, everything was not easy for the English, far from it. For much of the match, they were outplayed by the laid-back Spaniards, who mastered their game of short, repeated passes, never giving their opponents a chance to push forward. The first period was one-sided with dominating Iberian players and apathetic English. England’s Ellen White’s rightly disallowed goal for an offside position revived the ‘Three Lionesses’ somewhat (37แต‰) before the break, but too little to shake the Spanish.

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The only thing missing for Jorge Vilda’s players was to concretize their domination with a goal. Except that since the start of this Euro, the English had not conceded a single one in three games. Led by the Dutch Sarina Wiegman, the English selection has made its goals kept by Mary Earps an almost impregnable fortress.

The English entrants changed everything

The Spaniards finally managed to shake it a few minutes after the start of a second half which resumed on the same basis as the first. It was Esther Gonzalez who deceived the English goalkeeper for the first time in the competition (54แต‰).

At the time, Athenea Del Castillo, who entered at half-time, made the English defense miserable. A few minutes later, the Real Madrid winger almost doubled the bet on a center turned shot, released in extremis by Earps (65แต‰). The storm passed, England then went forward to try to snatch the extra time.

Lauren Hemp planted the first banderilla, with a strike above (76แต‰). The deliverance for the entire Community Stadium in Brighton finally came from Ella Toone, opportunist following a deflection of the head of Alessia Russo (84แต‰). Toone and Russo, two players entered during the game who proved coach Wiegman’s choices right.

England will be favorites in their semi-final

The latter, who had eliminated England in the semi-finals of Euro 2017 with the Netherlands before winning the competition, could not contain her joy on the splendid strike of Stanway in extra time, which offered the qualification in the last four at the “Three Lionesses” (96แต‰).

The Spaniards will have pushed at the end of the match without managing to come back, and leave the competition at the same stage as in 2017, in the quarter-finals. A confirmed outsider at the start of the competition, deprived of his Ballon d’Or Alexia Putellas and the top scorer in the history of the selection, Jennifer Hermoso, by injury, La Roja left the competition with a good performance, after staggering the English hitherto imperial.

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The latter will now have to assume their status as big favorites in the semi-finals, against the winner of Friday’s quarter-final between Belgium and Sweden. All the hope of a country rests on them, a year after the failure of their male counterparts in the Euro final against Italy at Wembley. The objective of the English is clear: to seek their first international title on July 30 at Wembley, to make up for the disappointment of last year and the final of the Women’s Euro lost in 2009.

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