England forward Alessia Russo’s backheel nutmeg against Sweden has been named Euro 2022 goal of the tournament, topping the poll ahead of Lionesses teammate Ella Toone, who netted a spectacular opener in the final against Germany.
Russo had already scored three goals off the bench during the group stage and came on at half-time in the quarter-final against Spain to completely change the game. But the Manchester United striker grabbed all the headlines with her improvised backheel in the last four.
England were leading 2-0 at the time and Russo had spurned a glorious chance just seconds earlier to score the third for the hosts and put the game to bed. Her first effort was saved by Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, but she chased the rebound and, with her back to goal, then caught everybody by surprise when she fired off an audacious backheel.
Lindahl didn’t even see it until it was through her legs and rippling the net behind her.
The goal of the tournament was decided by a fan poll and Toone’s goal against Germany came second. Also of Manchester United and a regular feature off the bench for the Lionesses throughout the tournament, she caught German goalkeeper Merle Frohms off her line and capitalised.
“I’ve seen her coming out and I thought that would be the best shot to do,” Toone said. “I started celebrating even before it had gone in the net, so I was confident that it was going in and then the whole stadium erupted, honestly [the] best feeling of my life.”
Germany’s Alexandra Popp, who missed the final through injury at the last minute, finished third with her perfectly timed volley against France in the semi-finals.