Arsenal legend Ian Wright rejoices at Beth Mead goal as England beat Austria at Women’s Euro 2022 in front of record crowd July 7, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer
England got off to a winning start in their Women’s Euro 2022 campaign as they edged to a 1-0 victory over Austria.
A first-half strike from Beth Mead, which just about crept over the line, was all that separated the two sides in the tournament’s opening match.
The vast majority of the 68,871 in attendance – which makes it a record crowd at a Women’s European Championship match – at Old Trafford were jubilant, including Arsenal legend Ian Wright.
In a video posted on social media, Wright said: “Beth Meeeadddd, hey hey! Beth Mead everybody, Beth Mead!”
The host side were good value for their win with Ellen White and Lauren Hemp almost extending their lead later in the first half.
However, there were one or two nervous moments for Sarina Wiegman’s side in the second half as Mary Earps pushed Barbara Dunst’s curling effort just past the post, while Austria had a late penalty appeal turned down.
The atmosphere was incredible in the ground as fans watched their heroes begin the tournament they are one of the favourites to win.
The action on the pitch didn’t necessarily match the vibrancy in the stands but as the old saying goes – a win is a win.
England took the lead almost out of nowhere as Mead latched onto a Fran Kirby through ball before clipping the ball over the onrushing Manuela Zinsberger.
Austria defender Carina Wenninger cleared the ball away before it hit the net but her efforts proved to be in vain as referee Marta Huerta de Aza pointed to the centre circle as goal-line technology stepped in.
However, there appeared to be some confusion as to whether the goal-line technology had malfunction before the referee confirmed the ball had crossed the line.
And Wright instantly took to social media to congratulate Mead, who plies her trade with Arsenal.
The goal gave Wiegman’s side a boost with White heading the ball just wide, while Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp having her effort saved on the stroke of half time after Weninger was dispossessed on the edge of the box by White.
England had reasonable control of the contest until the closing stages of the match before Austria came out of their shell.
However, Manchester United forward Alessia Russo fluffed her lines moments after coming on as she failed to properly connect with a looping ball inside the box.
The visitors then asked questions with Russo’s Red Devils teammate Earps making a smart save to deny Dunst.
Austria then pleaded for a penalty as the ball struck Leah Williamson’s arm, however, the Arsenal centre-back’s arms were down by her side.
The Lionesses duly held on to claim victory, which also extends Wiegman’s unbeaten run as manager to 15 matches. They next face Norway at Brighton’s Amex Stadium on Monday, which you can listen to live on talkSPORT.
Euro 2022 live on talkSPORT
Every England match of the Women’s Euros 2022 Championship will be live on talkSPORT.
Sam Matterface will be lead commentator for England games, alongside co-commentators Lianne Sanderson and lead presenter Adrian Durham, while Faye Carruthers will be reporting live pitchside with all the latest England news.
Meanwhile, Joe Shennan and Lucy Ward will lead commentary for Northern Ireland games.