England 1-1 Brazil (4-2 after penalties) - UEFA Finalissima match centre
- E. Toone (23′)
- M. Earps (76′)
- L. Hemp (82′)
- Andressa Alves (93′)
- Rafaelle Souza (39′)
The Lionesses win the first-ever UEFA Women's Finalissima after penalty shootout drama at Wembley Stadium
Highlights: England 1-1 Brazil (4-2 after penalties)
Watch the best of the action from Wembley and the inaugural UEFA Women's Finalissima
The head coach of Brazil women’s team has been involved with some of the most historic moments in world football, including some at Wembley Stadium, but believes tomorrow’s first-ever Women's Finalissima is the latest indication that ‘this is the time of my life’.
Pia Sundhage has the proud record of being the first women to score an international goal at the old Wembley Stadium, having bagged for Sweden against England in 1989.
She then led the USA to the 2012 Olympic title in front of 80,203 supporters at Wembley, in a tournament which was widely considered a watershed moment for women’s football in this country and inspired a number of the current England team.
Now coach of Brazil, Sundhage watched tomorrow night’s opponents England sell out all of their matches at last summer’s EUROs and has seen women’s football in Europe grow to the point where a number of the continent’s biggest clubs are regularly attracting attendances in the tens of thousands.
Tomorrow will pit the champions of South America, Brazil, against the European champions England in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium in a match which means a lot to Sundhage.
“I am feeling old and young at the same time! Can you imagine?” Sundhage said.
“Back then we didn’t have any crowds at all. Press conferences? Nada. And here we are.
“It is a fantastic journey women’s football has taken and I just want to emphasise how important it is because we have spoken about having women in positions [of power] – when I was young, we didn’t even have women’s players to look up to. It was Cruyff, Pele and Beckenbauer.
“Now today you can mention a lot of great [women’s] players and role models and also great coaches. So this is the time of my life.”
It was highlighted to Sundhage that it is almost 40 years since she scored the tournament-winning penalty against England in the first-ever Women’s European Championship in 1984 and is now part of the maiden Women’s Finalissima.
She said: “Forty years ago! It is fantastic and I remind myself every day. It is easy for me to be grateful because of the journey that women’s football has provided me.
“The fact that we have journalists asking questions and truly interested in the game and when you say football today, it could be women’s or men’s, or girls or boys. That was not the case before.
“This is huge and I try to tell people that it is important to be grateful but at the same time, you have to take the next step because we have a little bit more of a way to go. So we will continue to fight together.”
Sundhage was sitting next to England head coach Sarina Wiegman as part of a joint press conference which also included captains and Arsenal team-mates Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza.
Like her counterpart, Wiegman is another trailblazer for the women’s game, initially in her native Netherlands and now in England.
Wiegman, who Sundhage described as the best coach in the world, said: “This is the first Finalissima, which is really nice and a great occasion. There will be 90,000 here so it will be a really exciting environment and it is two teams who want to play football and who have a good history in football. I think it is going to be an exciting evening.”
She continued: “Although Brazil have a young team who are less experienced, they have a good football team. They are powerful, they have a lot of athleticism in their team and are very tight on the ball, with some very technical players on the ball.
“With Pia as the coach, they play in a recognisable structure so there is structure in the team and they maybe needed that so we are excited to play them tomorrow and see where we are at against Brazil.”
Williamson added: “When you are a player and you play against a team like Brazil, you appreciate the individual skill and the creativity. It is hard to play against because you don’t know what is coming so along with the structure, when you have that flair as well, it is always something players admire about each other.”
England have two games in this camp, with another sold-out match against Australia at Brentford to come on Tuesday.
Wiegman was asked about whether she planned to rotate her players, replying: “We will experiment a little less [than the Arnold Clark Cup] because we only have the two games [compared to three] so we are in a different stage.
“We are also in a period where there are many games and the load on players is really high, so we are trying to manage the load on players too. So it is a little bit of both.
“We will first play the game tomorrow and of course, we will play to win but you also play to develop too.
“After that, we will see how the team is and how everyone comes out of the game and manage the load a little bit.”
At the end of the press conference, the focus was switched back to the magnitude of playing in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium and the growth of women’s football.
Brazil and their captain Souza have already played at one of the world’s most iconic venues when the Rio 2016 Olympic Games’ semi-final match against Sweden took place in front of more than 70,000 at the Maracana.
And Souza said: “This game [against England] is going to be important not just for women’s football but also for me as a player because I know I am going to tell my child that I played at Wembley with 90,000 people. It is going to be special for me.”
England v Brazil
7.45pm BST, Thursday 6 April 2023
Live on ITV
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Brazil in profile
Nickname: Selecao or AS Canarinhas
Coach: Pia Sundhage
● England and Brazil will go head-to-head for a fourth time, with the Lionesses winning the first two encounters (1-0 in October 2018 and 2-1 in February 2019), before losing the most recent meeting in October 2019 (1-2).
● This will be the third meeting between England and Brazil on English soil, with all three encounters coming at a different stadium (a 1-0 win for the Lionesses at Meadow Lane in 2018, a 2-1 win for Brazil at the Riverside Stadium in 2019 and Thursday’s game being played at Wembley).
● The Lionesses have won five of their six games against South American opposition (L1), although they did lose their most recent such encounter, against Brazil in October 2019.
● Brazil will become the 19th different nation England have faced under Sarina Wiegman, with the Lionesses beating all but two of the 18 sides they have faced under her management (Canada and Czech Republic the only exceptions – a draw a piece). England remain unbeaten under the Dutchwomen (P29 W25 D4), scoring 137 goals and conceding just nine.
● Following a run of ten successive wins between July – October 2022, in which they conceded just a single goal, Brazil have since lost three of their five games (W2), including each of their last two. They last endured a longer losing run between August 2018 – April 2019 (9 in a row).
● England haven’t conceded more than a single goal in a game since Hege Riise’s final match in charge against Canada in April 2021 (0-2), keeping 20 clean sheets in their 29 games under Sarina Wiegman. Across these 29 games, the Lionesses have had 547 more shots than their opponents (710F & 163A) and 240 more attempts on target (293F & 53A).
● Ten of Bethany England’s eleven goals for England have come in the second half of games, including eight as a substitute. Her very first goal for the Lionesses came against Brazil, netting a consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat back in October 2019.
● Rachel Daly, who scored both of England’s goals in their 2-1 win over Italy in February, has been involved in seven goals in her last eight international appearances (five goals, two assists), as many as in her previous 45 games for the Lionesses (six goals, one assist).
● Brazil’s Debinha has scored eleven goals in her last 15 international appearances for Brazil, although she’s failed to net in her last two.
Highlights: England 2-1 Brazil
See the best of the action from England's game with Brazil in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup
Head to head
The Lionesses have met Brazil on three previous occasions, with England enjoying two wins and Brazil picking up one victory.
Our first game came back in October 2018, when it ended in a 1-0 win at Meadow Lane, home of Notts County FC.
You can see details of our last three games below:-
England 1-2 Brazil, 5 October 2019, Middlesbrough FC
The Lionesses welcomed Brazil to the Riverside Stadium as they began their build-up campaign for EURO 2020, but despite a first international goal for Bethany England, Phil Neville's team suffered defeat after Debinha's brace.
Brazil 1-2 England, 27 February 2019, Chester, PA, USA
The nations met in the SheBelieves Cup back in 2019, when second-half goals from Ellen White and Beth Mead secured a memorable win for the Lionesses in Pennsylvania after they initially trailed to a penalty from Andressa Silva.
England 1-0 Brazil, 6 October 2018, Notts County FC
Our first ever game against the South Americans came in Nottingham almost five years ago, when England made it a day to remember courtesy of Fran Kirby's winner.
Highlights: England 1-2 Brazil
See the best of the action from 2019 when the nations met in Middlesbrough
England Squad News
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How to watch or stream
This game will be shown live on ITV in the UK.
Sarina Wiegman has named her team to face Brazil at Wembley Stadium in the first-ever Finalissima.
In the team, there's a starting spot at left-back for Jess Carter while Alex Greenwood comes into central defence to replace the injured Millie Bright.
There's also starting berths for attacking pair Alessia Russo and Lauren James alongside Lauren Hemp.
England: 1 Mary Earps, 2 Lucy Bronze, 3 Jess Carter, 4 Keira Walsh, 5 Leah Williamson (c), 6 Alex Greenwood, 7 Lauren James, 8 Georgia Stanway, 9 Alessia Russo, 10 Ella Toone, 11 Lauren Hemp.
Substitutes: 12 Maya Le Tissier, 13 Ellie Roebuck, 14 Esme Morgan, 15 Niamh Charles, 16 Jordan Nobbs, 17 Chloe Kelly, 18 Laura Coombs, 19 Rachel Daly, 20 Jess Park, 21 Hannah Hampton, 22 Katie Robinson
Follow the game with our live commentary below, as well as see the Brazil line up and live match stats.
Ella Toone scored the opening goal of the game thanks to delightful link-up play as England played with inventiveness in the first half.
But Brazil grew into the game in the second half and found an equaliser in the third minute of added time through substitute Andressa Alves to take the tie to a shootout.
The Lionesses started on the front foot though, with Lauren Hemp probing the five-player Brazillian defence early on down the left wing regularly finding Alessia Russo in the middle of the box.
Lucy Bronze forced the first save of the game two minutes later as she whipped a ferocious shot at Leticia in the Brazil goal.
The Lionesses were then required to defend as Geyse was found by a long ball in the box, with Jess Carter putting a well-timed block to send the ball out for a corner.
England took the lead in the 23rd minute with slick and precise passing. Having dropped into Bronze’s usual position, Lauren James found the defender out wide who worked the ball well with Georgia Stanway before setting up Toone who rifled home her 16th goal for England.
Looking for an equaliser, Brazil benefitted from missed passes from England but it was still the Lionesses who looked closest to scoring as Hemp headed straight at Leticia on the stroke of half-time.
Brazil made two changes to start the second half, with Alves having an immediate shot on goal as the Copa America champions began to build confidence.
Mary Earps put in a fine save from the dangerous Geyse, stretching to punch the ball behind for a corner.
Substitute Rachel Daly got an early sight of goal having been set up by Hemp, her shot not quite dipping enough before the flag was raised for offside.
Brazil equalised with two minutes of injury time remaining as Alves capitalised on a spill from Earps to bring her side level and take the game to penalties.
A fine save from Earps put England well on their way to winning the shootout before Chloe Kelly sealed the deal just as she did when England won the Women’s EUROs last summer, after Stanway, Daly and Greenwood had scored their spot kick and Toone seeing her effort saved.
Substitutes: 17 Chloe Kelly for James 74’, 19 Rachel Daly for Russo 74’, 22 Katie Robinson for Hemp 88’
Substitutes not used: 12 Maya Le Tissier, 13 Ellie Roebuck, 14 Esme Morgan, 15 Niamh Charles, 16 Jordan Nobbs, 18 Laura Coombs, 20 Jess Park, 21 Hannah Hampton (GK),
Coach: Sarina Wiegman
Brazil (5-3-2): 12 Leticia; 2 Antonia, 14 Lauren, 3 Kathellen, 4 Rafaelle (C), 6 Tamires, 15 Luana, 17 Ary Borges, 21 Kerolin, 16 Bia Zaneratto, 18 Geyse Ferreira
Substitutes: 9 Andressa Alves for Lauren 46’, 11 Adriana for Zaneratto 46’, 7 Duda Francelino for Luana 69’, 23 Gabi Nunes for Antonia 87’, 20 Fernanda for Ary 87’
Substitutes not used: 1 Camila, 22 Luciana, 8 Ana Vitória, 10 Duda Santos, 13 Tarciane, 19 Yasmim, 25 Gabi Portiliho
Coach: Pia Sundhage