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England 1-1 Brazil (4-2 on pens): Lionesses win inaugural Finalissima
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Rachel Steinberg
Press Association
England celebrate after beating Brazil at Wembley (Adam Davy/PA)
England celebrate after beating Brazil at Wembley (Adam Davy/PA)

Chloe Kelly scored the decisive spot-kick as England beat Brazil 4-2 on penalties to win the inaugural Women's Finalissima in front of a bumper Wembley crowd of 83,132.

Ella Toone's 23rd-minute strike appeared to have secured victory for the Lionesses as they led 1-0 going into the third minute of second-half stoppage time.

But Andressa Alves beat Mary Earps to force the shootout, where Georgia Stanway, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood and Kelly — who scored the goal that saw Sarina Wiegman's side crowned Euro 2022 winners last summer — got the job done for the hosts.

The Lionesses are now undefeated in 30 matches under Wiegman and will look to extend that streak when they host Australia in next week's pre-World Cup friendly.

This was the fourth meeting between these sides at senior women's international level, Brazil having won the previous encounter 2-1 thanks to a Debinha brace.

Wiegman admitted before the match that this sold-out encounter, which began with a tribute to the late Pele, would allow her to tinker with her team ahead of this summer. 

She elected to start Alessia Russo, battling Aston Villa's Daly for the starting spot at No9, and the Manchester United forward had an early chance to make a statement but could not nod a set-piece past Brazilian keeper Leticia.

England continued to push forward but chances remained elusive until Lucy Bronze shot from distance, forcing Leticia into a stop at the far post.

Copa America Femenina winners Brazil could have gone ahead through Geyse but her effort took a deflection off Jess Carter.

Moments later, Bronze exchanged passes with Stanway before cutting the ball back to 23-year-old Toone, who made no mistake as she slotted past Leticia.

England thought they had made it two through Lauren James but the officials quickly determined — without calling on VAR — that there had an been offside in the build-up.

A flag would also have likely denied a Tamires equaliser at the other end had Earps not stopped her effort.

Bronze could not connect with a corner but England remained in control, Lauren Hemp latching onto a cross from James before her nodded attempt was collected by the keeper, while Russo and James both registered attempts before half-time.

Brazil looked brighter after the restart. 

Geyse quickly caled Earps into action before Kerolin bounced an effort in the direction of the England keeper and Leah Williamson's clearance stopped a sustained surge from the visitors.

Geyse threatened again, this time firing a rocket that Earps just managed to tip away to elicit gasp from the crowd before the ball landed on the roof of the net, while Stanway saw a sharp effort stopped.

A pause to treat Greenwood — who was deemed fit to continue — allowed Wiegman to ready several substitutes as the Lionesses appeared set for a clean sheet. 

But it was not to be. 

While Earps was able to stop an initial attempt from half-time sub Adriana, she fumbled the save and the ball landed at the feet of Andressa Alves, who fired in the equaliser.

With the trophy now to be decided by penalties, Stanway stepped up first and duly converted.

Adriana replied to level matters before goal hero Toone saw her spot-kick saved. 

After Tamires fluffed her lines, Daly fired home before Brazil captain Rafaelle hit the crossbar and Greenwood sent Leticia the wrong way. 

Despite the pressure, Kerolin kept her side in it.

It came down to Kelly to settle matters and the Euro 2022 hero converted her penalty to raise the roof at Wembley once again. 



EnglandEngland WFinalissimaBrazilBrazil W
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