The Washington Post

Kelly’s late score gives English women first title

ENGLAND 2, GERMANY 1

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Just when it seemed England might again be weighed down by expectatio­ns and history, Chloe Kelly made the breakthrou­gh.

Kelly’s goal in the second half of extra time — the first time she had scored in a competitiv­e internatio­nal game — propelled England to its first major women’s soccer title Sunday, beating Germany, 2-1.

By the time Kelly scored, England looked to be tiring, even with the boost of the home crowd, and struggling to deal with Germany’s fresh substitute­s. The game had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes at London’s Wembley Stadium, with Lina Magull’s goal in the 79th minute for Germany canceling out Ella Toone’s 62nd-minute score for England.

Then Kelly prodded in a loose ball at the second attempt in the 110th minute after Germany failed to clear a corner. Cue the celebratio­ns, chants on Trafalgar Square and congratula­tions from the queen.

“I always believed I’d be here, but to be here and score the winner, wow. These girls are amazing,” said Kelly, who returned from a serious knee injury in April. “This is amazing. I just want to celebrate now.”

The tournament-record crowd of more than 87,000 underlined the growth of women’s soccer in Europe since the last time England and Germany played for a continenta­l title 13 years ago.

On that occasion, Germany surged to a 6-2 win over an England team that still relied on parttime players. Two years later, England launched its Women’s Super League, which has profession­alized the game and grown into one of the main competitio­ns worldwide.

That has meant increasing competitio­n for Germany, which was a pioneering nation in European women’s soccer and increasing­ly faces well-funded rivals such as England, Spain and France.

England’s title comes 56 years after the nation’s only major men’s title, which was also an extra-time win at Wembley over Germany at the 1966 World Cup.

Queen Elizabeth II’S congratula­tory message called the England team an “inspiratio­n for girls and women today and for future generation­s.”

The players, too, are conscious of how their success has important consequenc­es.

“We talked and talked, and finally we did it,” England captain Leah Williamson said. “It’s the proudest moment of my life, so I’m going to lap it up and take every single second in.”

NWSL: Cecelia Kizer’s equalizer in the 82nd minute allowed the Kansas City Current to salvage a 2-2 draw with the Orlando Pride in Kansas City, Kan. . . .

Goals by Mandy Freeman, Shea Groom, Sophie Schmidt and Ebony Salmon lifted the Houston Dash to a 4-2 win over Gotham FC in Harrison, N. J.

FRANCE: Lionel Messi opened the scoring and Neymar scored twice as French men’s champion Paris Saint- Germain beat French Cup winner Nantes, 4-0, in Tel Aviv to win the Champions Trophy.

Coach Christophe Galtier, who guided Lille to the league title against the odds in 2021, now has his first trophy at PSG.

GERMANY: Hertha Berlin’s hopes of reaching the German Cup final in its own stadium were ended in the first round with a 6-5 loss on penalties at second-division Eintracht Braunschwe­ig.

Beaten finalist Freiburg needed extra time to get past second-division club Kaiserslau­tern, 2-1, while Borussia Mönchengla­dbach enjoyed a 9-1 rout of fifth-tier Oberachern.

Forest adds Mangala

Nottingham Forest signed Belgium midfielder Orel Mangala from Stuttgart for an undisclose­d fee as the English Premier League newcomer’s fourth signing from the German Bundesliga.

Forest said the 24-year-old signed a long-term contract. He is the 12th signing of the offseason for Forest, which is back in the Premier League for the first time since 1998-99.

GERMANY: Leipzig signed left back David Raum from Hoffenheim on a transfer worth a reported 26 million euros ($26.6 million) after a breakout season in which he became one of the Bundesliga’s top defenders.

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