England’s Chloe Kelly scored the winning spot-kick to settle the inaugural Women’s Finalissima after a dramatic evening against Brazil in front of a 83,132 Wembley crowd ended in a 4-2 penalty shootout victory.
Ella Toone looked to have secured the win for England with her 23rd-minute strike seeing the hosts leading going into the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
But Andressa Alves managed to beat England keeper Mary Earps to force the shootout, where Georgia Stanway, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood and Kelly – who scored the goal here that made the Lionesses European champions last summer – got the job done for the hosts.
This was the fourth meeting between these sides at senior women’s international level, Brazil having won the previous encounter 2-1 thanks to a Debinha brace.
Wiegman admitted before the match that this sold-out encounter, which began with a tribute to the late Pele, would give her the chance to tinker with options ahead of the World Cup, with England kicking off their campaign in Brisbane in just over 100 days.
At Wembley she elected to start Alessia Russo, battling Aston Villa’s Daly for the starting spot at number nine, and the Manchester United forward had an early chance to make a statement but could not nod a set-piece past Brazilian keeper Leticia.
Copa America Femenina winners Brazil could have gone ahead through Geyse, but her effort from the right took a deflection off Jess Carter to avoid England doing what they usually do not – concede first.
Moments later, Toone rendered that scenario impossible. Bronze exchanged passes with Stanway before cutting back to the 23-year-old, who made no mistake as she slotted past Leticia.
England thought they had made it two through Lauren James but the official quickly determined – without calling on the available VAR – that the Lionesses had been offside in the build-up.
Bronze could not connect with a corner but England remained in control, Lauren Hemp latching onto a cross from James before her nodded attempt was collected by the keeper, while Russo and James both registered attempts before half-time.
Brazil looked brighter after the restart, Geyse quickly calling Earps into action before Kerolin bounced an effort in the direction of the England keeper, while Leah Williamson’s clearance stopped a sustained surge from the visitors.
Geyse threatened again, this time firing a rocket that Earps just managed to tip away, eliciting a gasp from the crowd before the ball landed on the roof of the net, while Stanway saw a sharp effort stopped.
It was not meant to be, however. While Earps was able to stop an initial attempt from half-time substitute Adriana, the England shot-stopper fumbled the save and the ball landed at the feet of Andressa Alves who made no mistake as she fired in the equaliser.
With the trophy now to be decided by penalties, Stanway stepped up first, Leticia able to make contact but unable to stop the shot, Adriana replying before the Brazilian keeper denied Toone.
Daly fired sharply home before Brazil captain Rafaelle hit the crossbar, supporters’ spirits lifting as Greenwood sent Leticia the wrong way, putting pressure on Kerolin who kept her side in it.
But just as the last time the Lionesses lifted silverware here, at Euro 2022, it came down to Kelly, who once again sent the Wembley faithful into raptures when she found the finishing touch.