Georgia Stanway has admitted she doesn’t actually know why she decided to take a shot in the first when reliving her stunning Euro 2022 extra-time quarter-final winner against Spain.
The Lionesses came from a goal down to beat one of the pre-tournament favourites 2-1 at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday night, with Stanway’s fabulous effort from range in extra time sealing England’s semi-final spot.
The new Bayern Munich midfielder drove at the retreating Spain backline and, buoyed by the space that opened up in front of her, unleashed a fabulous, swerving strike from the edge of the box that arced past the outstretched finger tips of Sandra Panos.
“I don’t know why I shot. I don’t know what came over me,” Stanway admitted. “Usually I would probably pass that ball to the winger and expect the ball to be put back in the box. But I just thought, what is the worst that can happen?
“I think it was because nobody came to me. I’d expect a defender to step out to me and put me under some pressure or challenge my decision making. Nobody came to me.
“When the defender makes the decision for me, it’s easier. I honestly don’t know why I shot but I’m glad I did.”
The goal is Stanway’s second of the tournament, following her spot kick to open the scoring during her side’s 8-0 group stage victory over Norway.
Wednesday evening was a considerably nervier affair, with England six minutes away from being eliminated after Spain had taken the lead through Esther Gonzalez. Ella Toone netted the equaliser as the clock ticked down, before Stanway produced the game-winning moment of magic.
“It all feels like a massive blur at the moment,” Stanway added. “I need to watch it back and see where I was, how it went in the net, I literally can’t remember. I remember saying to one of the girls, ‘At what moment did we actually score?'”