Georgia Stanway reflects on impulsive moment which took England into semi-finals

“I remember saying to one of the girls ‘at what moment did we actually score?’ The celebrations at the end showed how much it meant to us and the fans were unbelievable.”

The atmosphere of elation at the end of the match, which had a crowd of 28,994 in attendance, was some contrast to the feeling of increasing tension around the stadium that had preceded Toone’s leveller, with Sarina Wiegman’s side having struggled to find much rhythm against a composed Spain outfit ranked one place higher than them at seventh in the world.

It ended up being an impressive show of England’s resilience as they battled back from conceding for the first time in the campaign, after scoring 14 goals without reply across their three group-stage victories.

Stanway said: “Spain were really good – but I think that just showcases how good we were as well, taking those final moments. It’s not nice to see a good side go out of a tournament, but I guess you’ve got to beat the best to be the best.”

The Lionesses will now face either Sweden or Belgium at Bramall Lane next Tuesday and Stanway added: “Obviously there were moments we can work on, massive movements. But we’re just thrilled. Thanks to everyone for the support, and hopefully we can continue to do well.”

Defender Millie Bright, who was named player of the match, said: “I think tournament football is about momentum, it’s abut keeping everyone in a good place.

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“We’ll stay in our little bubble, we’ve done it from the start, and nothing changes going into the semis.

“We’ll reflect on this performance and things we can do better, but I thought we showed our true character and in parts of the game we showed our true talent on the ball as well. So we just have to take all the positives out of it and keep the belief.”

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