Women’s Euro: the English Lionesses are released

Women’s Euro: the English Lionesses are released

The English “Lionesses” (Lionesses) successfully launched “their” Euro with a narrow but precious victory against a valiant Austria (1-0), Wednesday at Old Trafford, in front of 68,871 people, a record for a Championship match. women’s Europe.

After days of feverish expectation, the public at the Manchester United stadium gave a very warm welcome to those they hope will avenge England’s honor, a year after the men’s final defeat on penalties against the ‘Italy.

As soon as they arrived on the pitch for the warm-up, an indescribable hubbub arose from the stands, which were still sparsely filled, and the God Save the Queen was sung with the fervor of great sporting moments.

It was “incredible to play here at Old Trafford in front of 68,000 people with a lot of noise to support us. I hope it continues,” England manager Sarina Wiegman said after the match.

The first minutes were a little hesitant, however, due both to a very understandable nervousness, which led to an unusual loss for the English, and to the beautiful intensity displayed by the Austrians.

“I am very proud of our performance, but we leave empty-handed and a little bitter, because we (…) had a few chances”, regretted their coach, Irène Fuhrmann.

The game of the Lionesses, with beautiful ball outings, the search for a gap on the sides but also individual risk-taking in one-on-one, has nevertheless ended up being put in place.

Forwards Lauren Hemp and Beth Mead poisoned the Austrian defense with their ability to outflank or go inside.

It is also to Mead that returned the honor of delivering Old Trafford.

– Lack of realism to be corrected –

Well started in the back of the defense, she was found by Fran Kirby and she lobbed the Austrian goalkeeper, the “goal line” confirming that the desperate rescue of Carina Wenninger had come too late (1-0, 17th).

This goal completed the release of the Lionesses who should never have reached the break with only one goal in advance.

Ellen White, for example, missed the target twice on headers completely in her strings (27th, 44th), while Hemp saw her recovery deflected by Austrian goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger, from a handball stop just before halftime.

Alessia Russo, awkward up close (71st), Chloe Kelly too individualistic after a rush from midfield (76th) also left England within reach and without a superb save from Mary Earps (78th), the evening could have turned to disillusion.

“We sometimes rushed a little in the last third of the field. We created a lot of chances, but we failed in the last gesture or in the decision-making, because for example to shoot or not”, a regretted Wiegman.

A defect that she will want to correct at all costs if her players want to meet the expectations placed on her.

The 52-year-old Dutchwoman, who led the Netherlands to victory at home in 2017, will be aiming for nothing less than the final victory on July 31 at Wembley, when England were stopped in the semi-finals during the last two Worlds and the last Euro.

– A promising and undecided Euro –

The Lionesses are also undefeated since the arrival of Wiegman, i.e. 15 matches now, having beaten Germany (3-1), winner of eight of the previous twelve Euros, and, very recently, the Netherlands (5 -1).

But these 13th European Women’s Nations Championships look promising and undecided.

Group B, which will designate the opponent of the English if they climb to the quarterfinals, will be particularly tough with Germany, Spain – even deprived of its star Alexia Putellas, victim of a cruciate ligament rupture – and Denmark, finalist in 2017.

Likewise, Norway, who are in the England group, remain a real threat, especially with the return of Ada Hegerberg, while Sweden and the title holders Netherlands, who will face each other in Group C, or France (group D), can beat anyone.

Corinne Deacon’s players owe their tournament on Sunday against Italy (9:00 p.m.).

As many opponents as the Lionesses will have to overcome if they want to be there for the final on July 31, where a new record should fall with the 87,000 seats at Wembley.

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