Alessia Russo’s tremendous trickery was a fitting highlight for England’s 4-0 upset of Sweden at Women’s EURO 2022 on Tuesday, sending the Lionesses into the final.
Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, and Fran Kirby also scored for England, but it was Russo’s goal that especially showed both the spirit and vibrance of the Lionesses’ attack. The Manchester United player saw her initial save stopped but followed the rebound on its journey across goal, snapping a back heel through traffic and between the legs of legendary Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl.
It’s as much of an upset as can be considered given England’s status as host nation, but genuinely qualifiers due to Sweden’s status in the European game. Sweden entered the tournament as Europe’s top-rated team, one spot below the No. 1 United States women’s national team, while England sat 8th.
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England’s women will play in their third European Championship Final following losses to Sweden In 1984 and Germany in 2009.
An England vs Germany final, should the Germans take care of France at 3pm ET Wednesday, presents a fitting way for England to claim its first EURO crown.
Germany has won eight of 12 Women’s European Championships — one as West Germany — and won six-straight between 1995 and 2013.
But coach Sarina Wiegmann and the Netherlands ended Germany’s reign, beating England en route to a 4-2 defeat of Denmark in the 2017 final. Hired by England, she now can make it back-to-back EURO crowns with different nations.
WHAT A GOAL FROM ALESSIA RUSSO!
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) July 26, 2022