England match-winner Kelly pays tribute to rehab team
Chloe Kelly paid an emotional tribute to her rehab team after netting England’s winning goal in the Women’s Euro 2022 final.
Manchester City star Kelly, 24, rose from the bench to prod home a corner in the second half of extra-time and secure a dramatic 2-1 victory for the Lionesses over Germany.
The goal — her first for her country — was the most fitting of rewards for the forward, who only returned from a 10-month injury lay-off in April caused by an ACL tear.
Speaking at full-time, a jubilant Kelly said: "Thank you for everyone who played a part in my rehab. I always believed I’d be here, but to be here and score the winner, wow.
"It’s amazing, thank you everyone, this is what dreams are made. Wow, this is unbelievable.
"Oh my God, look at them all. It is amazing, thank you to every single person that supported us. This is unreal… 'Sweet Caroline'!"
It was a tense affair at Wembley with few chances of note in the first half but the game burst into life after the break.
England broke the deadlock on 62 minutes when supersub Ella Toone latched on to Kiera Walsh’s marvellous through ball before lofting a deft chip over the onrushing Merle Frohms.
But the eight-time winners refused to lie down and were level on 79 minutes after Tabea Wassmuth’s cutback was guided home by Lina Magull.
Extra-time was required and with just 10 minutes left on the clock, Kelly was on hand to convert a corner Germany failed to clear — sparking jubilant scenes at Wembley.
Three Lions legend Ian Wright was quick to pay tribute to Lionesses star Beth Mead, who topped the tournament’s scoring charts with six strikes.
Wright, 58, said: "I can't put into words how much work has gone into this. I'm so proud, I can't believe it!
"Beth has come back after missing the Olympics. The Beth Mead revenge tour is over.
"Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot winner. Brilliant."