English football in particular has suffered 56 years of mischief A. RamseyWorld Cup victory over Germany At Wembley in 1966 and Chloe Kelly The winner challenged at home in the same venue against the same opponents last summer to secure the Euros Sarina Wegmanside.
while the three lions So close to glory meanwhile—sometimes suffering bad luck, sometimes letting themselves down badly—Wigman lionesses She has brought nothing but joy since taking over as manager in September 2021, and their achievements on the pitch have made the women’s game a force for good beyond it.
Whereas England were blazing their way to the cup a year ago, playing football freely with a stable first-team line-up, they had to show another side of themselves in Australia And New Zealanddig deep for victories over opponents in the group stage such as Haiti And Denmark And find ways to win against it NigeriaAnd Colombia And Australia are in the knockout stages without always being at their best.
There were injuries, too – Lea Williamson and Beth Mead before the tournament started and Keira Walsh during it – and self-inflicted setbacks as the star winger. Lauren JamesA naive red card in the round of 16, which earned her a two-match ban that could have been avoided.
There’s no doubt that the Lionesses have everything they need to triumph on Sunday, however, as long as they stay focused, stay true to themselves – and remember a few timely warnings from history.
Here’s a quick look at the biggest disappointments in the England Championship between 1967 and 2021, if Sarina Wigman’s side needed any extra motivation ahead of their big challenge.
1990 World Cup semi-final
One of the most memorable World Cups of recent times, Italia 90 will live forever in English nightmares, with unforgettable Gazza tears in as Luciano Pavarotti straining at the cummerbund to beat Nessun Dorma.
After two decades of poor international achievement, England were knocked out in the group stage to see them off Belgium And Cameroon And they had a hearty half with old rivals Germany at the Stadio delle Alpi in Turin.
That night, Bobby Robson’s side played out a heated 1-1 draw and a very tense, scoreless period of extra time before inevitably facing a penalty shootout.
Gary Lineker, Peter Beardsley and David Platt all turned around, but the usually flawless Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle couldn’t make an evening as sentimental and operatic as the soundtrack will live on in agony for many years to come.
1996 European Championship semi-finals
While there was much to enjoy about the first international football tournament to be played on English soil since 1966, with the nation united by Frank Skinner and David Padel’s immortal anthem ‘Three Lions’, it all ended in bleakly familiar circumstances under Terry Venables’ captaincy.
An impressive strike by Paul Gascoigne against Scotland, and an uncharacteristically clinical 4-1 defeat. Holland Courtesy of Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham and Pearce’s penalty against Spain brought a genuine belief that victory was imminent before Germany reared its ugly head once again, forcing a penalty shootout after again drawing 1-1.
This time, for sure Gareth Southgate The guy was unlucky from the place.
1998 World Cup Round of 16
It was again a penalty shootout that did for England at the Glenn Hoddle Stadium France 98, this time against Argentina After a thrilling 2-2 draw that saw a young Michael Owen come off to score a stunning career-defining goal and dismiss David Beckham’s powerful kick at Diego Simeone (a foul not unlike Lauren James’s against Nigeria).
Paul Ince and David Baty missed the assists at Saint-Etienne, but the shame fell on Beckham, who was chased away by opposition fans when he returned to action. Manchester United A month later and was not forgiven until late.
2002 World Cup quarter-finals
Having taken the lead through Owen, England ended up trailing 2-1 with goals from Ronaldinho and Rivaldo in the old South American side, also including Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Golden Boot winner. RonaldoOh, Fenomeno himself, he’s back with a point to prove.
Ronaldinho’s very sloppy ball that drifted over David Seaman for the equalizer in Shizuoka sounded a lot like Colombia’s. Liese Santos record against Mary Erbes In the current tournament quarters last weekend.
World Cup 2018 semi-final
After a series of disappointing tournaments – ending with a loss to Portugal In 2006, to Germany in 2010 (helped by at least one elusive decision to deny Frank Lampard a perfectly valid goal) and failing to even escape their group in 2014 – new manager Gareth Southgate found personal redemption and inspired an unexpected tour of M&S Chesters in Russia before five years.
After a workable progression through the groups, England got the better of Colombia before the excitement really reached its peak when they prevailed Sweden 2-0 in the quarters, inspiring at least one group of overly rejuvenated Patriots to smash a branch of Ikea in ecstasy.
Despite advancing early in the semi-finals thanks to Kieran Trippier, England were gradually eroded by a formidable Croatian team orchestrated by Luka Modricinitially conceding the equalizer to Ivan Perisic and then the win to Mario Mandzukic in extra time.
Football didn’t come home after all, but, just for a moment, it felt like its comeback was written in the stars.
Women’s World Cup 2019 Semi-Finals
Just a year later, the same fate befell the Lionesses of France when their impressive run was ended in the semi-finals by the defending champions, the women’s national team, led by the United States. Alex Morgan And especially tyrannical Megan Rapinoewho found time to feud with Donald Trump as well as scoring in the final and receiving both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball.
Christine Press gave the Americans an early lead in the semi-final before Ellen White restored the tie, only for Morgan to score the winning goal and provoke the crowd with a sarcastic tea-sipping celebration that she later insisted had been misinterpreted.
Euro 2020 final
This one is still a little rough. Southgate’s men emerged, not particularly dramatically, from the groups of this Covid-delayed tournament with two wins and a draw – scoring just two goals but keeping three clean sheets – before beating Germany, Ukraine and Denmark to set up a clash with Italy In Wembley on a particularly raucous summer day on a Sunday evening.
Once again he took an early lead, as they did against Croatia in Moscow – this time as a courtesy Luke Shaw – England’s nerves were strained, and they allowed the Italians to return to it. The Azzurri duly equalized through Leonardo Bonucci, dragging the match into extra time and then a penalty shootout.
Marcus RashfordAnd Jadon Sancho and Bakayo Saka all missed their kicks, inspiring some absolutely horrific racial abuse on social media afterwards, but then a very encouraging outcry of public support in response.
If there is a lesson in all this for ducks, it is that their penalty record in recent times is better than that of their male counterparts.
Irbes superbly held the Brazilians to victory at Finalissima in April this year as England won on penalties 4-2 and Bethany EnglandAnd Rachel DalyAnd Alex Greenwood And the powerful Chloe Kelly (always a player for a big occasion) took penalties in the recent victory over Nigeria, suggesting they may be less inclined to crack under pressure.