Germany crush England to win women's Euro title
Germany's women footballers demolished England to secure their fifth consecutive European Championship with a resounding 6-2 victory in Helsinki on Thursday.
"Overall I'm very satisfied and very happy," said German coach Silvia Neid, who has been involved in all seven of Germany's European titles. "Our opponent in the final had great quality."
Germany took an early lead in an entertaining match at the Olympic Stadium through all-time leading scorer Birgit Prinz, who slotted home adroitly from Inka Grings's clever reverse pass, before Melanie Behringer made it 2-0 with a stunning 40-yard drive into the top-left corner.
England, though, responded immediately and halved the deficit two minutes later when Karen Carney tapped into an empty net after a slaloming run into the penalty area from Boston Breakers star Kelly Smith.
Germany, the reigning world champions, re-established their two-goal advantage shortly after half-time with a goal that will have disappointed England coach Hope Powell. A German corner wasn't dealt with and when Annike Krahn's shot bounced back off the right-hand post, Kim Kulig was on hand to slam the ball into the roof of the net.
Again England fought back, Smith firing an expert left-foot shot across Nadine Angerer and into the bottom-right corner, but Grings brilliantly headed home Kerstin Garefrekes's right-wing cross to kill off England's comeback hopes and become the first player to score five goals in the tournament's history.
Grings curled home her second of the game and sixth of the tournament with 15 minutes remaining after skipping past Faye White, before Prinz claimed her brace by smashing home from just inside the area.
"This is just cool. It was a hard-fought match," said Prinz. "But it was fun. We made the goals at the right moments.