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England beat Brazil on penalties to win Women’s Finalissima

England beat Brazil 4-2 in a dramatic penalty shootout to win the first-ever Women’s Finalissima at Wembley on Thursday, with Euro 2022 hero Chloe Kelly scoring the decisive spot-kick after a 1-1 draw.

Sarina Wiegman’s European champions were on course for a narrow win after taking the lead in a first half they dominated through a well-worked team goal finished off by Ella Toone.

But Copa America Femenina winners Brazil were transformed after the break and threatened to spoil the party when Andressa Alves fired home from close range in the 93rd minute.

With no extra time, the game went straight to penalties.

Georgia Stanway, Rachel Daly and Alex Greenwood scored from the spot to put England 3-1 ahead.

Kerolin kept the contest alive but Kelly – who scored the winning goal in the European Championship final at Wembley last year – slotted home coolly to seal the win.

Wiegman said her team, preparing for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which starts in July, had not had much chance to practise penalties.

“We practised yesterday and before the Euros we practised a lot,” she said. “We just repeated it yesterday in case. We knew what to do and we did good.”

The Dutch coach – yet to taste defeat as England boss – said she felt “privileged” to reach 30 games unbeaten.

“I’m very happy working here,” she said. “Such an incredible group. The team is so committed, they want to learn every day.”

England secured their place in the showpiece match by beating Germany 2-1 in the Euro 2022 final last year while Brazil beat Colombia 1-0 to win their eighth Copa America Femenina title.

The crowd of more than 83,000 and the players took part in a minute’s applause to remember Brazil great Pele, who died in December, before kick-off.

England swagger

England started strongly, playing with swagger and assurance and limiting the visitors, without injured record scorer Marta, to occasional breaks.

Lucy Bronze stung the hands of goalkeeper Leticia from distance and at the other end Jess Carter made a crucial block to deny the lively Geyse.

England got the reward they deserved in the 23rd minute when Manchester United forward Toone finished a flowing move down the right, connecting sweetly with a cross from Bronze.

The home fans thought England had doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark but Lauren James’ strike was ruled out for offside.

Brazil coach Pia Sundhage brought on Andressa and Adriana for Lauren and Beatriz Zaneratto and the changes had an immediate impact.

Kerolin went close with a strike from distance that drifted wide of Mary Earps’ goal.

Earps then produced an outstanding save, pushing the ball onto the top of the crossbar shortly before the hour to deny Geyse.

England eventually regained a measure of control, but suffered the shock of conceding a late equaliser when Earps failed to hold on to a cross and Andressa fired home.

But England regrouped and stayed calm to win the shootout, sending the crowd wild.

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