Chloe Kelly is England’s hero AGAIN as she scores the crucial penalty to win Finalissima for Lionesses against Brazil
CHLOE KELLY was Wembley’s toast AGAIN after sealing England’s glorious Finalissima triumph over Brazil.
The Manchester City star scored the crucial penalty and secured a 4-2 penalty shootout triumph just eight months after her strike won Euro 2022 for the Lionesses.
Kelly said: “I looked the goalkeeper in the eye and thought, I’m going to score.”
It extended England’s unbeaten run to a whopping 30 games.
Her long run and fatal finish ensured Sarina Wiegman’s side survived a rude awakening from a struggling Brazilian team.
The enthusiastic striker: “It’s great to be back here at Wembley in front of our home fans. You were brilliant again tonight.
“It feels like home to me. It’s great to be back. It was an excellent performance from the girls and we’re going to keep going.
“I was just looking forward to it. I calmed down and was ready to take it.
“We are made up of great people here. employees and players. It’s all about moving forward and getting ready for July.
“It was a different challenge here tonight. We’re building momentum and we need to move on now.”
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It was a result that saw them go 30 games unbeaten under Wiegman.
The last duel between the teams on the famous stadium ended in a 2-1 defeat for a home team then managed by Phil Neville.
Back then, the Lionesses faced a Brazilian side featuring Selecao legends Marta and Formiga and alleged Arsenal target Debinha.
But that game was a different matter as Wiegman’s Euro winners faced a much younger Brazilian side.
England got off to a solid start as the Copa America Feminina champions held down large swathes of their own side in the first half.
The crowd roared after a penalty as Alessia Russo was fouled by Rafaelle after flicking an elegant pass over the Brazilian defense from Lucy Bronze in the fifth minute. But the striker was flagged for offside.
The first real chance came from Barcelona star Bronze, who was one of the standout players of the game.
The England full-back brought the ball on target from just outside the 18-yard box and forced a save from stopper Leticia in the 13th minute.
Brazil tried to get their attack going, with Geyse’s shot deflected into a corner.
The impasse was broken in the 23rd minute when England opened up the visitors’ defensive line and Bronze found Ella Toone to smash the ball home.
And the hosts saw an unrecognized goal when Lauren James was flagged for offside just before the half-hour and Bronze’s header went wide from a corner just before half-time.
In the second game, Brazil initiated the change when Andressa Alves and Adriana came on for Lauren and Zaneratto.
And it made all the difference when Andressa brought the duel to penalties in the third minute of stoppage time after Mary Earps spilled the ball.
But the Manchester United keeper made amends by making a brilliant save against Tamires as England won 4-2 on penalties and clinched the first women’s Finalissima trophy.
Former England and Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “I love the celebrations.
“Everybody went straight to Mary Earps and she just drinks it and goes and celebrates with the crowd.
“Here, too, it speaks for the mentality of this team. They love to win.”
ENGLAND: Earps, Bronze, Williamson, Greenwood, Carter, Stanway, Walsh, Toone, Hemp (Robinson 88), Russo (Daly 74), James (Kelly 74). Booked: Earps, Hemp.
BRAZIL: Leticia, Kathellen, Lauren (Andressa 46), Rafaelle, Antonia (Gabi Nunes 87), Ary (Fernanda 87), Luana (Duda 69), Kerolin, Tamires, Zaneratto (Adriana 46), Geyse. Booked: Raffaelle.