England beat Brazil in Finalissima shootout

England beat Brazil in a penalty shootout in a thrilling inaugural Women’s Finalissima on Thursday, the second straight international trophy hoisted by the Lionesses at a jam-packed Wembley Stadium.

Tied 1-1 at full-time, Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses beat Brazil 4-2 in the shootout to improve their unbeaten streak to 30 games, with Chloe Kelly hitting the decisive spot kick.

“I feel privileged,” Wiegman said. “It’s such an incredible group, and the team is so committed and we want to learn every day and it’s so nice to be a part of.”

The game, which drew 83,132 fans and sold out in early October, featured the European and South American champions and was a key part of preparations for the Women’s World Cup in July and August.

“It’s great being back here at Wembley in front of our home fans,” Kelly said. “They were brilliant again tonight. It’s home to me and the girls gave a brilliant performance again tonight, and we keep moving forward.”

Ella Toone netted her 16th goal for England in the 23rd minute when Lucy Bronze cut the ball back for her teammate to slot in from the edge of the six-yard box.

Andressa Alves sent the game to a shootout when she equalised in the 93rd minute, pouncing on a loose ball that keeper Mary Earps had trouble controlling.

England dominated the first half and thought they had gone 2-0 ahead through a confident strike by Lauren James ahead of the break, but there was an offside in the buildup.

Brazil looked the better team after the restart, Geyse quickly calling Earps into action before Kerolin bounced an effort in the direction of the England keeper, while Leah Williamson’s clearance stopped a sustained surge from the visitors.

Geyse threatened again, this time firing a rocket that Earps just managed to tip away, before Andressa made no mistake as she fired in the equalizer.

The game, which had a tribute to the late Pele at the start, went straight to penalties where Tamires and Brazil captain Rafaelle, who hit the crossbar, failed to score for the visitors.

The nailbiting back-and-forth game was a perfect tune-up for the World Cup, Wiegman said.

“The first half was really good, the second half we got challenged a lot,” she said. “I’m happy, it’s good that we have that information and we take it from here.”

Wiegman’s side will look to extend that streak when it hosts Australia at Brentford’s Gtech Stadium, while Brazil play Germany on Tuesday in Nuremberg.

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