England forced to the brink before shedding pain of the past with sweetest triumph of all



Wiegman stood on the touchline and scanned, never flustered. It is true that England’s strength off the bench proved decisive, with both goals being scored by substitutes, but this was also weeks of preparation coming together, delivered even as the pressure grew and the significance of England’s run to the final and the societal and cultural impact grew with it too.

Sarina Wiegman stayed calm under pressure

This is, it seems we now know, how to win a major tournament, and it’s a story written by England. Wiegman may not have foreseen how England’s crowning moment arrived, but the success of this team, before you even get to its wider implications, was the belief they felt in each other, and of a squad where every player knew their role.

There were no tears, no penalty heartbreak, not even a winning goal that may or may not have crossed the line. There was only Kelly, a player who spent a year out on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury and only returned in April, whipping her shirt off and screaming into the night. The pain, and the suffering, has been left behind.

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