England Women realised their historic win last night in Edmonton, when Farah Williams' extra time penalty ensured that they defeated Germany, and finished the Women's World Cup with a bronze medal.

The Lionesses' performance at the World Cup was the most successful ever, the second best by a national Football team, following the England men's 1966 victory at Wembley Stadium; last night they were wearing the same red kit as the 1966 World Cup winners.

This is the first time that the two-time Women's World Cup winners Germany had been defeated by England since the 1984 UEFA Championship; Mark Sampson's side managed to hold their opponents for the 90 minutes and won the spot-kick three minutes into the second half of extra-time, when Tabea Kemme fell Lianne Sanderson.

This was Williams' third goal of the Canadian tournament from the penalty spot.

The German squad set a pace from the start, as Lara Petermann almost scored in the first minute; soon afterwards, they had two more opportunities for a goal, but Célia Šašićwasted a great chance before Manchester City's captain Steph Houghton cleared off the line.

As the game progressed, England's formation allowed them to create more space in front of the opponents' defence and play more aggressively, but the game remained 0-0 at the break.

In the second half both sides were pushing for a winner; however, with the introduction of England's Eniola Aluko, the game swayed back in England's favour as she passed a through ball to an open Jill Scott, who wasted a golden chance in the 77th minute.

The game went to extra-time, and, when England got the penalty in the 108th minute, the 31-year-old Liverpool midfielder Williams stepped up to end the Lionesses' most successful World Cup campaign by defeating a world superpower of women's football.

The wildly celebrated victory brought closure to an outstanding tournament for England, who finished as the top European nation, and will now become sixth in the world rankings. The result was testament to the great work that manager Sampson has put in since he took over 18 months ago.