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Sarina Wiegman heaped praise on her players after England battled back from behind to beat Spain in the quarter-finals of the European Championships.
Spain started the quarter-final the better of the two sides as England struggled to get going in the opening half.
La Roja deservedly went ahead just after the interval. The ball was squared to Esther Gonzalez inside the penalty area and she calmly placed the ball in the bottom corner.
England looked to be heading out of the competition until Ella Toone equalised at the AMEX Stadium inside the final ten minutes of normal time.
Alessia Russo’s knock-down found its way to Toone, who showed good movement before she poked the ball over the line.
This equaliser sent the tie into extra-time. England had the momentum and they took advantage of that in the 96th minute.
Georgia Stanway advanced towards the goal and her stunning strike from range flew into the net past Spain goalkeeper Sandra Panos.
The Lionesses overcame a couple of tense moments before the final whistle as they edged out Spain to advance. They will now face Sweden or Belgium in the semi-finals at Bramall Lane next Tuesday.
Speaking post-match, Wiegman recognised that Spain are a “very good team” and that her England side benefitted from the “home advantage”:
“The whole game was a test. The level of this game was so high. I haven’t experienced that too much. We know Spain are a very good team, especially in possession. We did pretty well too,” Wiegman told BBC Sport.
“In terms of a test and a setback and how we came back, we stuck to it with being together as a team trying to score. Plan B was also [used for] a couple of minutes in and then we scored. Then we went back. I’m so proud of the team. Incredible.
“The fans behind us, you could feel it. This is a home advantage.
“Worried is a big word. We were behind and knew we had to do something. We scored quickly after doing that so we could go back into our normal shape. Incredible. [You’re] concerned otherwise [you] don’t change shape a little bit. Nice that it worked.
“A crazy day, especially today. I came with the team late, prepared, and trying to stay calm yourself. I won’t forget this day.”
Stanway added after the victory that her winner is “one to be proud of”:
“Unreal. That shows the level we’re at. We get a setback and we come back. Job done. Focus on the semis.
“I wasn’t too sure [if the shot was going in]. It’s one to be proud of. I’ll remember today. We put in a massive shift. We just have to enjoy this moment and crack on.”
The article Wiegman lauds England players after ‘incredible’ Euro 2022 quarter-final win – ‘I won’t forget this day’ appeared first on Football365.com.