Old Trafford hosts historic Women’s Euros opener

Thursday 07 July 2022 09:23

Old Trafford hosted a record-breaking crowd for a Women’s European Championship match on Wednesday night as England kicked off Euro 2022 with victory over Austria.

The tournament hosts triumphed 1-0 in front of a competition-high 68,871 supporters at the Theatre of Dreams, smashing the previous record of 41,301 from the 2013 final in Stockholm.

Our trio of Lionesses Mary Earps, Alessia Russo and Ella Toone, all featured as Sarina Wiegman’s side started their Group A campaign with three points, following Beth Mead’s first-half goal.

The game’s deciding strike came in front of the East Stand in the 16th minute, as Chelsea’s Fran Kirby found Mead, of Arsenal, who took the ball under control before lobbing the ball over the goalkeeper and the line.
Despite the atmospheric environment, it had largely been a quiet night for United goalkeeper Earps up until the 78th minute, when she produced a good diving stop to her left to keep out a curling effort from Barbara Dunst.

Our stopper was then at it again to preserve the lead and the clean sheet in the closing stages, making an assured save, again to her left, to halt a low strike from Julia Hickelsberger. 

Mary's Reds team-mates Alessia Russo and Ella Toone were introduced on home turf as part of a triple change just after the hour mark and would go on to help England secure an opening-game win.

Speaking to Sky Sports News after the match, the pair reflected on the occasion and the victory.

“Seventy-thousand people at Old Trafford, opener of the Euros, I think it’s what dreams are made of and obviously we got the three points too so even better,” Russo said. 

“Lots to build on though and hopefully it’s the start of more to come.”


Toone added: “It was amazing, even better than expected. 

“Stepping out in front of all them fans, it was an amazing atmosphere and I’m just so happy that we put on a performance and got the three points.

“We’ll enjoy this moment and then we’ll be ready for the next game, and we’ll prepare in the same way but we’ve got that belief now for the next game.”

Next up for England is a meeting with Norway on Monday (11 July) at Brighton’s Amex Stadium, where our Lionesses trio could go head-to-head with club team-mates Vilde Boe Risa and Maria Thorisdottir.



Boe Risa, Thorisdottir and Norway get their campaign under way later on in the other matchday one fixture in Group A.

They take on Northern Ireland on the south coast in a 20:00 BST kick-off, looking to continue a run of form that has seen them win each of their last five matches going into the competition.