Video Assistant Referee, low mood, three points
England get the perfect start to the European Championship in front of a record crowd
06/07/2022 10:57 PM
With a well-deserved victory, host England begin the European Women’s Football Championship. Netherlands coach Sarina Wegmann’s team beat Austria in the first half thanks to an early pass. More than 68,800 spectators remained surprisingly quiet.
Successful start in front of a record crowd: English footballers made a successful debut on the mission to win the European Championship on home soil. National team coach Sarina Wegmann’s “lionesses” beat Austria 1-0 (1-0), but they must improve as the tournament progresses if England’s first European victory is to be at the end. Beth Mead (16 minutes) gave the hosts the lead in Manchester with a header, and England scored nothing despite their superiority: Austria proved to be the expected fierce opponent, who fought back with great effort.
The enthusiasm for women’s football in England was palpable from the start, with 68,871 fans coming to Old Trafford – they’ve broken the previous record for a European Championship match since the final in 2013 (41301 in Solna, Sweden). And the great background made a good impression, both teams were nervous.
DFB-Elf plays on Friday
England’s first chance was delayed until the 12th minute, but Lauren Heim’s header crossed the Austria goal well. BUT: England gradually gained momentum, and Meade used a pass from Fran Kirby to take the lead – lifting the ball over speeding goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger and leaving fans cheering for the first time. The video assistant referee confirmed the goal after the ball was removed from the goal line.
The goal gave England a sense of confidence, with Wegman’s team in control but struggling to get into the bottom spots. Austria, with seven famous players from the Bundesliga in the starting line-up, did not allow much – but they almost went into the second half 0-2. Zinsberger made a solid save against Hemp (45 + 2). Even after the break, the balance of power did not change. England was superior but very harmless. Austria prepared mightily against the imminent defeat.
In Group A, Norway and Northern Ireland will also meet on Thursday (9pm / DAZN), and German footballers play their first European Championship match against Denmark on Friday (9pm / ZDF and DAZN). Other contenders in the DFB selection include Finland and Spain, which have weakened significantly after world footballer Alexia Putilas’ injury (rupture of the cruciate ligament).