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Goal reminds us that life is full of surprises says chaplain as Lionesses go through to Euro final

by Donna Birrell

A football club chaplain has praised the goal which helped secure England's place in the Euro 2022.  

The Lionesses beat Sweden 4-nil and will now take on either Germany or France at Wembley on Sunday.

Angy King who is a chaplain with Reading Football Club told Premier the match can teach us all lessons about resilience and team-playing:

"It was unbelievably exciting. I'm not a massive football watcher but I do tune in for the big matches. 

"I think they know what a good squad they've got. I think they have confidence in each of the players, in the team, confidence in themselves, confidence in what they can do. I think even if they went behind they would look at coming back. They know they can do it, they know they're at the top of their game. It's a mental game and they are confident in what they can do."

The Lionesses went ahead after a goal by Captain Beth Mead, but it is the third goal which is being most talked about. Alessia Russo had been brought on as a substitute and after an instinctive kick of her back heel scored after only 11 minutes, having missed a strike on goal a second before.    

King said it's a great example of not giving in when you think you've failed: 

"The ball was bouncing around a bit in the box and I think the goalie was expecting her to turn and shoot, or even pass back and shoot. But she just did a back heel, which nobody was expecting. It just surprised everybody. If we're going to take a spiritual lesson from that, God doesn't do the obvious things, does he? He surprises us in many ways and I think we should never be surprised by the way God works.

"I think the Lord created sport for many reasons. And I think one of them is to teach us lessons. I think we can learn so much from watching and from playing too. Hopefully everyone watching really took heart from that."

The game saw the Lionesses extend their unbeaten run to 19 games under manager Sarina Wiegman. King described her leadership style as inspiring:

 "I think she's got experience, I think she makes wise decisions. Like the players, she believes in what they can do. Even if they're not performing well, she knows that they can raise their game because she's seen them in training. She's worked with them, she's seen them in other games, she knows what they're capable of. People love to play for her so I think she's a great manager and coach - just like Jesus is for us."

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