Before the World Cup, Sarina Wiegman wanted Brazil to put her England team to the test, and she most definitely got her wish.
The Lionesses defeated Brazil at Wembley to win the first Women’s Finalissima and extend their unbeaten streak to 30 games.
Ella Toone gave England the lead as they controlled the first 45 minutes, but Brazil’s Andressa Alves scored in stoppage time to give Brazil the victory.
In reality, the South American champions deserved it because they were the superior team in the second half. Their late goal forced a penalty shootout after England goalie Mary Earps mishandled a cross.
It gave England a new challenge and gave Earps a quick chance to make amends. Just a few seconds after Toone missed the penalty, the goalie seizes the opportunity and saves Tamires’ shot.
Center back for Brazil Rafaelle Souza hit the crossbar, giving Chloe Kelly—and no one else—the chance to convert the game-winning penalty. After scoring the winning goal in the Euro 2022 final last summer, she made no mistakes and now has another memorable Wembley experience to add to her scrapbook.
In order to add the World Cup to their collection of trophies, England may have to deliver exactly this kind of performance in Australia and New Zealand.
After Wiegman took over, England has won all of their tests. They may not have passed their last test with flying colors, but they completed the task, and in tournament football, that’s all that counts.
This game started slowly, but it ended dramatically. But, England soon got their footing and dominated the first 45 minutes.
In the opening period, the Lionesses held a whopping 81 percent of the ball. Brazil was only able to muster one shot on goal, Geyse’s effort being stopped by Jess Carter, who entered the lineup to start at left back in place of Mille Bright.
After Geyse’s shot in the 19th minute, England took the lead. They worked the ball up from the halfway line and into Brazil’s box in a superb play. Toone was the recipient of a cut-back from Lucy Bronze to complete the play, and the midfielder scored with ease as the goal gaped.
Before halftime, England had the opportunity and perhaps ought to have doubled its lead. Out wide, Lauren James was a constant nuisance, and one of her shots was disallowed for offside.
Brazil came out strong after a lackluster first half in which they were played off the park. Alves, one of two substitutions at halftime, forced Earps to make a save right away.
15 minutes later, Earps had to be on guard as she deflected Geyse’s stinging attempt onto the crossbar. Ary Borges missed a fantastic opportunity just moments before when the ball was cut back to her.
In the second half, Brazil increased their pressure on England’s defense and seemed to enjoy it. The Lionesses had trouble playing out from the back, and Leah Williamson, the team’s captain, frequently had to step in to mop up. Earps receiving a booking for time-wasting encapsulated England’s worry that their lead could be lost.
The Lionesses received a boost with the addition of Kelly and Rachel Daly, whose pace up front helped ease some of the burden on the defense.
Just as it seemed like England had accomplished enough, Brazil stole an equalizer. Alves was there to score in the 93rd minute after Earps mishandled an innocuous cross that had entered the box.
Because to Earps’ excellent save to stop Tamires, the game was sent to penalties and this time Earps was the hero rather than the villain.
In order to ensure that England’s path to the World Cup is free of obstacles, only Toone missed for the team. The other four takers all scored.