Stanway’s stunning strike seals England’s place in semi-finals of Women’s Euros


England defeated the pre-tournaments favourites Spain in dramatic fashion to earn a semi-final place against either Sweden or Belgium next week.

The hosts left it late after coming from behind after Spain took the lead through Esther Gonzalez in the second half. With time running out up popped Ella Toone with six minutes of normal time reaming to send the game into extra time.

The game was settled with a stunning strike from Georgia Stanway in the first period of extra time to extend England’s impressive unbeaten run under manager Sarina Wiegman to 18 matches.

Spain, who have never a knockout game at a major tournament started the brighter of the sides with a header from Paredes drifting wide.

It took England fully half an hour to settle into the contest and threatened for the first time when Ellen White turned in a free kick only for the offside flag to be raised. The goal was checked by VAR and after a while the decision was no goal.

Defensively, Spain was proving a hard nut to crack with a Lauren Hemp header going wide with half time approaching.

At the break the game was still awaiting it’s first goal of the game with Spain the happier of the two sides going into the interval.

England started the second half in a more positive frame of mind, but it was the Spanish who drew first blood in the 54th minute when Rachel Daly allowed Athenea del Castillo the chance to cut the ball back to Esther Gonzalez who took one touch and fired low past Mary Earps.

Wiegman was quick to respond by swiftly introducing Chloe Kelly, Alessia Russo and Toone in quick succession.

Spain continued to show the cutting edge and almost doubled their advantage when a cross come shot from del Castillo almost caught Earps out, with the England custodian clawing away the ball from underneath the crossbar.

It took England 67 minutes before registering their first shot on target with Daly testing Sandra Panos from distance.

Toone and Stanway both had shots blocked before Lauren Hemp fired over the bar as England threw everything at the Spanish goal.

But just as it looked as if time was running out for England, with six minutes remaining two substitutes combined to come to the Lionesses rescue.

From a cross a header down from Russo found Toone to volley home.

England now had the momentum as they pushed for a winner, but Spain held firm to send the tie into a further thirty minutes.

Within six minutes of extra time England had turned the game around with a sensational finish from Stanway.

The former Manchester City player was allowed time to unleash a sensational strike from twenty yards out which flew into the back of the net.

There was still time for Spain to try and level and came close when Aitana Bonmati prodded narrowly wide of the mark. Amaiur Sarriegi then had a shot blocked as England were forced to withstand some late pressure before the final whistle sounded which brought wild celebrations both on and off the pitch.

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