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Published 06 April 2023 4 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Mary Earps and Chloe Kelly on making more Wembley memories

Written by:

Milly McEvoy

Lionesses pair reflect after playing their part in Finalissima victory over Brazil

England pair Mary Earps and Chloe Kelly contributed to another memorable night at Wembley after a dramatic victory over Brazil in the first-ever UEFA Women’s Finalissima.

When the teams shared a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes, following a stoppage-time equaliser from Brazil’s Andressa Alves to cancel out Ella Toone’s first-half opener, the title was decided by a penalty shootout.

And goalkeeper Earps played her part by making two saves before last summer’s EURO Final matchwinner Kelly stepped up to smash home the winning spot-kick and make it 4-2.

“I’m just relieved, to be honest. That just sums up goalkeeping, within five minutes really,” said Earps after the game.

“I’m disappointed with the goal and I would’ve preferred a clean sheet but I really wanted to make it up to the girls and we won so that’s the most important thing.”
Chloe Kelly steps up to score the winning penalty in the UEFA Finalissima
Chloe Kelly steps up to score the winning penalty in the UEFA Finalissima
Kelly, who was introduced as a second-half substitute and appeared to be the calmest person in Wembley as she stepped up to win it, added: “I was just excited for it. I calmed myself down and was ready to take it.

“I just looked the ‘keeper in the eye and I just thought I am going to score.”

For Earps, it was a different matter as the Manchester United stopper had to put Brazil’s equalising goal in the 93rd minute to the back of her mind as she focused on facing up to five spot-kicks from the South American champions.

“I felt ready for penalties and I had to be after the last few minutes of the game. I had no choice, win by hook or by crook, so I’m really pleased with that,” she explained.

“Coming up against Brazil in a shootout, it’s hard, they are very technical footballers.

“I was disappointed I didn’t save the first one as I thought I might’ve had enough on it but let’s just say it is good practice for the World Cup in the summer.”


Mary Earps celebrates England's penalty shootout victory over Brazil
Mary Earps celebrates England's penalty shootout victory over Brazil
It all added to what was another special night at the national stadium for Sarina Wiegman’s squad, following on from last summer’s EURO Final and then the match with USA last autumn.

“It’s great being back here at Wembley in front of our home fans, they were brilliant again tonight,” said Kelly.

“This feels like home to me, so it’s brilliant to be back here, the girls put in another excellent performance and we keep moving forward.

“I think we are made of great people, this team, the staff and the players, it’s about being ready for July. It was another different challenge again tonight and we’re building momentum and will keep moving forward now.”

Earps added: “It is a bit mental [to be here], I just pinch myself and I was thinking as I was walking out today that I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love.

“I wouldn’t change it for the world, even when you have little wobbles like I had tonight.

“It’s just an incredible feeling to play out in front of a packed Wembley. It’s mad considering where I’ve been and I’m just so pleased to be at this point and buzzing to be here with the girls. I just love playing for my country and the standard of this football is incredible.

“I’m here to inspire as many people as possible and to try to make goalkeeping as attractive and get as many kids into the game as possible because it is a great position.”

England will be back in action on Tuesday evening, when they welcome Australia to Brentford’s Community Stadium.