Bronze and England go for gold in Wembley Euro final
Destiny awaits Lucy Bronze and the England Women’s football team this weekend after they qualified for the final of the Women’s European Championships.
The Lionesses, who have been in fine form throughout the competition, roared through their semi-final clash with Sweden at Bramall Lane in Sheffield with a resounding 4-0 victory on Tuesday night and they now go on to face the winners of Wednesday’s second semi between Germany and France in the final at Wembley on Sunday.
Northumberland’s Bronze, who was born in Berwick, lived on Holy Island and went to school in Belford and Alnwick, played a major part in Tuesday’s victory over the Swedes, who are ranked number two in the world behind the USA.
She provided the cross which led to Beth Mead’s opening goal in the first half and then headed England into a 2-0 lead early in the second half following a corner.
Further goals came from a cheeky back heel by substitute Alessia Russo and a shot from distance by Fran Kirby.
But it was not all one-way traffic, as Sweden made a good start and hit the bar, whilst goalkeeper Mary Earps had to make a fine one-handed save under the crossbar.
Victory for the Lionesses ends a 13-year wait to return to the final of a major tournament, their last being in 2009 when they lost to Germany in the Euros.
England’s performances so far in the competition have captured the imagination of the country.
They opened with a 1-0 win over Austria at Old Trafford before they steamrollered Norway 8-0 in Brighton. They then completed the group stages with an impressive 5-0 win over Northern Ireland in Southampton.
In the quarter-finals, back in Brighton, they were tested by a resolute Spain, but managed to come through 1-0.
The victory over Sweden stretched their unbeaten run to 19 games under manager Sarina Wiegman, and after guiding the Netherlands to the title in 2019 she is looking foir back to back championships at Wembley.
Wiegman has named an unchanged starting line-up for each of England’s five games in the finals so far, and Bronze, apart from a late extra-time substitution, is one of a handful of players who have played every minute.
"Again, the team found a way,” she said. "The players on the pitch found solutions.”