Beth Mead praises 'unbelievable' atmosphere as England beat Austria

‘We were all into Sweet Caroline!’: Beth Mead worships ‘unbelievable’ Old Trafford atmosphere after scoring in England’s victory over Austria in Euro 2022 opener… as Leah Williamson praises ‘special’ record crowd

  • Beth Mead netted the only goal as England started Euro 2022 with three points
  • The Arsenal star lobbed Austria goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger in the first half
  • There was an anxious wait as VAR checked if the ball had crossed the line
  • The crowd of 68,871 was the largest attendance for a Women’s Euros fixture

Beth Mead described the Old Trafford atmosphere as ‘unbelievable’ after scoring the only goal in England’s 1-0 win over Austria in the first game of Euro 2022. 

The Arsenal winger controlled Fran Kirby’s through ball before lifting it over club team-mate Manuela Zinsberger after just 16 minutes, with the Lionesses limiting their opponents to minimal chances at the other end. 

It was the perfect way to start the tournament for Sarina Wiegman’s side, who were roared on by a crowd of 68,871 – the largest attendance for a Women’s European Championship fixture. 

Beth Mead praised the ‘unbelievable’ atmosphere after scoring in England’s Euro 2022 opener

‘What an amazing night – it’s great to start the tournament with a win and I’m glad to get a goal for my team,’ Mead told BBC Sport. 

There was a party atmosphere around Old Trafford all evening, so much so that Wiegman’s message in the post-match huddle was drowned out. 

‘I’d like to tell you we could hear what she was saying but it’s so loud we couldn’t hear what she was saying,’ Mead continued. ‘We were all into Sweet Caroline! She’ll probably have the debrief in the dressing room.

‘Listen to the atmosphere, it’s just unbelievable.’

The Arsenal winger lifted the ball over club team-mate Manuela Zinsberger in the first half

Lionesses captain Leah Williamson added that the record crowd of 68,871 was ‘special’

Lionesses captain Leah Williamson added: ‘I had no idea what to expect but it was special and I think everybody embraced it really well.

‘We’ve done it – we’ve walked out, and all the pressure that everybody was putting on us externally is over now, so it’s a good start and it’s on to the next game.

‘We were definitely not at our best, the points on the board is the most important thing but we’ve got something to work on for the next game, which gives us something to strive for.’

Mead was made to wait anxiously, with VAR needed to confirm the ball had crossed the line

Mead was made to wait anxiously to see if her goal would stand, with a VAR check needed to confirm if the ball had crossed the line as Austria defender Carina Wenninger desparately tried to clear it. 

The winger said: ‘I was pretty sure it went over but you always doubt yourself when there’s a little bit of time in between.’

England will face Norway in their second group match on Monday, before meeting tournament debutants Northern Ireland. 

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