England has swept through to the Women's Euro 2022 final after beating Sweden 4-0 at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane.
Their win was met with praise from figures across football, including Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, and former player David Beckham.
The Duke of Cambridge congratulated the squad, tweeting "the entire country is so proud of everything you’re achieving. We believe in you and will be with you all the way!"While former England men’s captain David Beckham congratulated the England women’s national football team for reaching the Euro 2022 final and thanked them for “inspiring” his daughter Harper.
It will be England Women's first appearance in a final since Euro 2009 - and, if they win, their first ever major trophy.
Following a shaky start for the Lionesses in which Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius hit the bar, Beth Mead, already leading the race for the Golden Boot, put Sarina Wiegman’s side ahead with a 34th-minute strike that took her to six goals for the tournament. Mead then turned provider in the opening moments of the second half, delivering a corner that was headed in by Lucy Bronze.
But the biggest cheer came after England's Alessia Russo scored the team's third goal. Russo backheeled the ball between the Swedish goalkeeper's legs moments after coming on to the pitch as a substitute.
Amy Lewis heard from fans cheering on the Lionesses in London's Trafalgar Square
Fran Kirby added the fourth with a chip eight minutes later and it could have been even more for England, with Lauren Hemp having rattled the woodwork at 2-0, as they comprehensively avoided more semi-final disappointment after exiting at this stage at their last three major tournaments.
The 4-0 result is notable feat for England, give Sweden are ranked 2nd in the world and England are placed at number eight.
It will England's third appearance in the competition’s final after the runners-up finishes of 13 years ago – when they suffered a 6-2 loss to Germany – and at the inaugural Euros in 1984, which saw them beaten on penalties by Sweden.
Sports Editor Steve Scott explains what impact Sunday's final will have on women's football
Among those reacting to the spectacular win was Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tweeted: “On to Wembley! A fantastic result for Captain @leahcwilliamson and the @Lionesses tonight against Sweden. “Come on England, bring it home #WEURO2022."
Harry Kane, captain of England's men's side, simply wrote: "Yesss @Lionesses ! Bring on the final."
The Lionesses' manager Sarina Wiegman said the team will celebrate "a little bit", but added "we have come very far now and we don’t want to take it away".Meanwhile, Alex Scott, a former Lioness who presented Tuesday's game on BBC One, hailed the FA's investment in women's football.
“It is hard for me not to get emotional right now because the amount of investment which has gone into the women’s game is for a moment like this," she said.
“For this team to get to Wembley, they are creating something special and deserve every accolade which is coming their way."
Former England men’s striker Ian Wright spoke on the semi-final's legacy.
He said: “Whatever happens in the final now, if girls are not allowed to play football in their PE, just like the boys can, what are we doing? We have got to make sure they are able to play and get the opportunity to do so. “If there’s no legacy to this – like with the Olympics – then what are we doing as this is as proud as I’ve ever felt of any England side.”
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