England’s hopes of Euro 2009 glory were shattered by ruthless Germany despite a battling effort
in a compelling final.
Goals from Karen Carney and Kelly Smith twice kept England in contention in Helsinki but the world champions were ultimately far too strong as they secured a fifth successive continental title with a 6-2 victory.
Prolific pair Inka Grings – who finished as the tournament’s leading scorer with six – and Birgit Prinz both struck twice while Melanie Behringer and Kim Kulig were also on target.
Smith’s goal after 55 minutes had reduced the arrears to 3-2 and given England hope of a first major title but Grings and Prinz spectacularly closed out the game.
Yet there was no shame in losing to a German side that have not been beaten in tournament football for 10 years and have now won seven of the last eight European Championships.
England coach Hope Powell said: “The scoreline sounds like a walloping but I don’t think it was.
“We started very brightly and we still believed we were in it at 3-2.
“We still went out to win the game, even though we were 6-2 down. We still wanted to attack and we have to applaud that.
“I truly believe they feel they were in a game.
“We’re happy with what we have achieved in reaching the final but not satisfied.
“I think this will make the girls hungrier next time and one day it will be our day.”
Germany coach Silvia Neid said: “I wouldn’t have imagined the final would have eight goals.
“Two very good teams made it a really good final and the game went up and down.
“I thought England could have got back into the game, even at 4-2 down.
“I only felt confident at 5-2 when England started to look tired and we were still enthusiastic.”