Women's Football

Women's Euros: Greatest ever games

Ali Rampling
Netherlands vs Denmark is one of the Women's Euros all-time great games
Netherlands vs Denmark is one of the Women's Euros all-time great games / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

The Women's Euros officially began in 1984, following a maiden unofficial tournament in 1979. The first tournament consisted of just four teams: Sweden, England, Denmark and Italy.

The championships have played host to some of the world's finest teams and players over the course of its 23-year history, throwing up a selection of classic encounters along the way.

Let's take a look at the pick of the bunch.

10. England 3-2 Russia (2009)

Kelly Smith
England were 3-2 victors over Russia in 2009 / Ian Walton/GettyImages

England and Russia played out one of the games of the tournament at Euro 2009, producing five goals in a pulsating first 45 minutes.

Russia had twice led, only to be pegged back by goals from Karen Carney and Eni Aluko. England then grabbed the winner on the stroke of half time in spectacular style, as talisman Kelly Smith tried her luck with a volley from inside the centre circle. The absolute audacity.

9. Germany 1-0 Sweden (2001)

The 2001 final between Germany and Sweden will always have a place in the Women's Euros history books, with it being the only final to be decided by everyone's favourite now-defunct football law: golden goal.

After the 90 minutes had finished goalless, Claudia Muller raced through in extra time to net the decisive winner and secure a third successive title for Germany.

8. Sweden 3-2 England (1987)

Euro 1987 consisted of just four teams, with Sweden and England meeting in the semi-finals in a repeat of the final two years earlier. The pair played out a frantic encounter, with momentum swinging one way and then the other as both sides led and trailed over the course of the 90 minutes.

Gunilla Axen netted her second of the game in extra time to seal a 3-2 win and book Sweden's place in the final.

7. Germany 6-2 England (2009)

England v Germany - UEFA Women's Euro 2009 Final
Germany were crowed European champions again in 2009 / Ian Walton/GettyImages

Germany versus England was a fiercely competitive, highly entertaining final for the first hour. The Lionesses went toe to toe with their illustrious opponents and were narrowly trailing 3-2, Kelly Smith and Karen Carney both netting within minutes of Germany taking a two-goal lead to keep the two sides within touching distance.

The final 30 minutes saw England blown away, in a celebration of everything that was great about this dominant Germany side. Talismanic striking duo Birgit Prinz and Inka Grings netted the final three goals as Germany secured their fifth successive European title.

6. Sweden 2-3 Norway (2005)

Hanna Ljungberg, Marit Fiane Christensen
Norway and Sweden played out an entertaining semi final in 2005 / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Sweden and Norway played out a frenetic semi-final at Euro 2005, Norway leading and being pegged back twice before eventually sealing victory.

The scores were balanced at 1-1 at the break, Sweden equalising within two minutes of Norway taking the lead. Isabell Herlovsen looked to have booked Norway's place in the final, only for Hanna Ljungberg to pop up in the 89th minute with her second of the game to level the score. Solveig Gulbrandsen netted a stunning volley in extra time, to which Sweden finally had no reply.

5. France 3-4 Denmark (2001)

France and Denmark played out an all-time great group game at Euro 2001, sharing seven goals across 90 thrilling minutes.

France looked to have secured a share of the spoils, having come from 2-0 and 3-2 down to draw level seven minutes from time. However, Gitte Krog popped up to tuck home the rebound from a free kick in the 90th minute to seal all three points for Denmark.

4. England 3-2 Finland (2005)

Karen Carney
Carney netted a last gasp winner for the Lionesses / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

England and Sweden kicked off Euro 2005 in front of 29,000 fans at Ewood Park, and put on a spectacle for the record-breaking crowd to savour.

Hosts England had opened up a comfortable two-goal cushion at half time, only for Anna-Kaisa Rantanen to halve the deficit and Laura Osterberg Kalmari to break English hearts with an 88th minute equaliser. But 17-year-old Karen Carney rescued the game for the Lionesses with a famous 91st minute winner in front of a raucous home crowd.

3. Netherlands 4-2 Denmark (2017)

Lieke Martens, Sherida Spitse, Vivianne Miedema
The Netherlands were awesome at Euro 2017 / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

The Netherlands became the first non-German European champion since 1993 as they stormed to victory on home soil in 2017. With Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens, Pernille Harder and Nadia Nadim on the score sheet in the 2017 final, it was a true celebration of European women's football.

Everything there was to love about this infectious Dutch side was encapsulated in the goal-friendly victory over Denmark. The scores were level at half time as both sides traded leads, before second-half goals from Sherida Spitse and Miedema secured victory and the Euros crown in front of a buoyant, orange home crowd.

2. Norway 4-3 Sweden (1995)

The 1995 Euros was a bizarrely concocted tournament. It consisted of four teams, with the semi-finals a two-legged affair. The first of the four semi-final matches took place in December 1994, with the final four months later in March 1995. Drawing out a four-team major tournament for a full three-and-a-half months is impressive, fair play.

The first leg of Norway and Sweden's semi-final took place in February and was a breathless affair, with Sweden leading three times, only to be pegged back on each occasion to leave the scores poised at 3-3. Anita Waage then netted an 89th minute winner to give Norway the edge heading into the following month's second leg.

1. Sweden 4-1 Norway (1995)

Norway entered the second leg of the 1995 semi-final with a 4-3 advantage. They extended their aggregate lead in the first half, leading 1-0 at the break and with one foot in the final.

But Sweden produced a remarkable second-half display, scoring four goals - including a 17-minute hat-trick from substitute Lena Videkull - to turn the tie on its head, secure a 7-5 aggregate victory and book their place in the final.