Thursday, April 18, 2024

England beat Brazil on penalties to win Finalissima trophy

Sports Desk :

After a 1-1 draw, England defeated Brazil on penalties to win the Finalissima for the first time.

Chloe Kelly was the Wembley hero again, scoring the winning penalty to etch the record-breaking Lionesses into history once more.

Ella Toone gave England the advantage when she hammered home the opening goal after a fast start, and were only undone when substitute Andressa Alves latched onto a loose ball spilt by England goalkeeper Mary Earps.

The game went straight to a penalty shout-out, where England held their nerve to win 4-2.

England threatened Brazil early on and caused problems down the channels in the opening stages.

Lucy Bronze tested Leticia Izidoro with a fierce long-range strike as she enjoyed free rein floating into midfield from right-back, but the goalkeeper did well to beat the Barcelona defender’s effort away.

England’s early pressure and patience paid dividends when Toone struck from 10 yards out to give Sarina Wiegman’s side the lead in her 30th appearance.

Bronze and Georgia Stanway played a quick one-two before the former was in a position to steer a low cross back towards Toone who had surged into the box, before smashing a shot into the bottom left corner.

England had the ball in the back of the net again six minutes later courtesy of Lauren James with a high finish into the roof of the net, but she had made her run early and drifted into an offside position.

James was involved in another England attack when she floated a cross into the six-yard box where Lauren Hemp was lurking, but had her close-range header saved at point-blank range.

Russo and James both looked to double England’s lead minutes before the break. Russo was the recipient of a pass from Bronze – who had an excellent first half – but saw her first-time effort saved, before James’ curled strike from the edge of the box whistled wide.

England started the second half sloppily, and were given a warning when Brazil came close to an equaliser. An unmarked Adriana couldn’t convert Geyse’s cross, completely miscuing her finish in front of goal.

Brazil threatened again when Toone was dispossessed 25 yards from goal and Geyse – who became a thorn in England’s side in the second half – struck well but Earps was able to tip the lobbed attempt onto the bar.

The Lionesses pulled their socks up and the momentum shifted back towards the hosts, as Hemp had a shot on the edge of the box well saved by a strong Leticia hand.

Leah Williamson came to England’s aid when she crucially intercepted a cross from Bia Zaneratto, who had stolen the ball from Alex Greenwood before looking for an unmarked Geyse in the box, but Williamson stepped in at the right time as the only remaining defender to clear the danger.

Brazil left it late, but they snatched an equaliser in added time through substitute Alves, who pounced on Earps’ spilt cross to fire the leveller into the roof of the net and take the game straight to penalties.

Stanway and Adrina scored the opening penalties despite both goalkeepers getting a strong hand on the ball, before Toone had her spot-kick saved.

Tamires stepped up with the opportunity to give Brazil the advantage, but Earps reacted well to keep her low effort out.

Daly fired her penalty past Leticia to put England 2-1 ahead, and then Brazil captain and Arsenal star Rafaelle rattled the crossbar with Brazil’s next attempt.

Kerolin cancelled out Greenwood’s goal to make it 3-2 but it was advantage England, as Kelly hammered home the winner.

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