England break Women's Euro attendance record as huge crowd sees Lionesses defeat Austria in opener

England Women's Euro 2022 attendance GFXGetty / GOAL

England got their Women's Euro 2022 campaign off to a winning start in record-breaking fashion, as the Lionesses posted an all-time competition high attendance during their 1-0 tournament-opening win over Austria at Old Trafford.

Beth Mead's first-half finish was enough for the hosts to ensure they got off on the right foot for this summer's tournament, taking them to the top of Group A and laying down a gauntlet for their rivals.

But as gratifying as their strong start on the pitch will have been for Sarina Wiegman's side, it will be the eye-catching number of fans that piled into the Theatre of Dreams on opening night that will have delighted tournament organisers and supporters across the continent.

What was the attendance figure at Old Trafford?

England's Group A game against Austria drew the highest-ever crowd for a Women's European Championship game, with 68,871 in attendance on Wednesday evening.

The figure smashes the previous record for the competition, set in the Euro 2013 Final in Stockholm, when 41,301 attended Germany's win over Norway.

It does however fall short of both England's record attendance for a match - 77,768, posted at Wembley Stadium for a friendly against Germany in 2019 - and the all-time highest attendance for a women's game, when Barcelona faced Wolfsburg in the UEFA Women's Champions League earlier this year, with 91,648 present at Camp Nou.

However, the final at Wembley Stadium later in this tournament could draw another record crowd.

What has been said about the atmosphere?

Mead, who netted her 15th international goal of the season-long cycle to extend her England record, admitted that the feeling inside Old Trafford was "beyond words".

"What an amazing night to start the tournament with a win," she told BBC One. "I'm really happy to get a goal for the team.

On what Sarina Wiegman said afterwards: "I’d like to tell you we could hear what [Wiegman] was saying [at full-time] but it’s so loud, we couldn’t hear what she was saying. We were all into Sweet Caroline. Listen to the atmosphere, [it's] unbelievable!"

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