HomeSportsEngland arrives at Wembley with three goals and a great goal

England arrives at Wembley with three goals and a great goal

Instead, she bided her time, taking the lead through Beth Mead, the tournament’s leading scorer, shortly after the half hour mark. That might have been, for a different team, the cue to sit back, slump your shoulders and grit your teeth. But that is not Wiegman’s style, and neither is England’s.

At half-time, the stadium announcer declared that, “as things stand, England are going to the final”. He felt a little arrogant, the kind of statement that might come to be seen as a source of regret, though not for long. Four minutes into the second half, Lucy Bronze had doubled the lead, her header sliding painfully slow past Lindahl’s shot.

That goal, in hindsight, would have been enough, but at the time it wasn’t, not enough to be sure. Only with Russo’s instinctive and improvised brilliance, the crowd, the players, were able to relax. A few minutes later, Fran Kirby, England’s creative heartbeat, charged for goal. She was also in one of the biggest games of her career. She also knew this was serious.

But she still chose the lenient option, throwing a delicate arcing chip just beyond Lindahl’s reach, deflecting her gloves into the net behind her. It was the kind of thing a player tries when he’s having fun, regardless of the situation he finds himself in.

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