Wembley can come: After an outstanding defensive performance, Germany defeated France in the semi-finals of Euro 2022. Match winner was the German captain Alexandra Popp. The Wolfsburg woman scored both German goals in the 2-1 (1-1).
“I can’t even put it into words. No pig believed us capable of it. And now we’re in the Wembley final,” said Popp, who was voted “Player of the Game”, on ZDF: “The team is awesome, the gives me a tremendous boost.” For Germany it will be the ninth European Championship final on Sunday (07/31/2022) against England. In the previous eight finals, they always came off the pitch as winners.
“The final will be a football festival”
“I’m incredibly proud of the team. We’ve become a great bunch here who support each other. We deservedly won this semi-final,” said coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg: “The final will be a great festival of football. England has been brutal so far good and oozes confidence, but the first 30 minutes against Sweden showed you can hurt the English women.”
We want to silence Wembley
Motivation from Jurgen Klopp
The German team had received a lot of good wishes in the run-up to the game. Most recently from Jürgen Klopp, who wished him good luck in a video message. And said: “If you put your idea on the pitch with all conviction, everything will be fine!”
Fast outside players well under control
This message seemed to have arrived – Germany began in a very focused and disciplined manner. Of course, you had to have respect for the fast French wingers in particular – but the German camp had apparently adjusted very well to Delphine Cascarino and Kadidiatou Diani. In any case, the two high-speed attackers didn’t come into their own for almost the entire first section.
In return, the German team put in the first tentative offensive impulses in an initially very cautious match. Jule Brand was particularly active, replacing Klara Bühl, who was infected with the corona virus, in the starting XI. In the 20th minute she could only be stopped by a foul by France’s Sandie Toletti 18 meters from goal after a strong solo. Alex Popp shot the free-kick halfway up towards the left corner, but France keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin just managed to deflect the ball around the post.
Germany rewards itself – Popp to 1:0
Surprisingly, France’s offensive still didn’t take place, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team had the next scene again: In the 26th minute, Felicitas Rauch placed the ball 21 meters half-right in front of the goal for a free kick, but aimed a good meter too high.
Germany determined the pace and direction of the game – and was rewarded in the 40th minute: defender Kathy Hendrich and Jule Brand combined well through midfield on the right before the ball landed at Svenja Huth. She crossed from the half field to the six-yard box, where Popp was a step faster than her opponent Griedge Mbock Bathy – the ball flew into the net to make it 1-0 for Germany. Incidentally, it was the 100th German goal at a European Championship.
Frohms unhappy – own goal to 1:1
The leadership was well deserved and also overdue. Unfortunately, the German team didn’t benefit from it for too long. A single moment of light was enough for Diani to level the game: in the 44th minute she moved in from the left and fired from 17 meters into the near corner. The unfortunate German keeper Merle Frohms bounced the ball off the post and into the back of the goal. It was 1-1 at the break.
The German team was the point winner after 45 minutes – and tried to carry the concentrated performance over into the second half. In fact, the defensive performance was initially exemplary – Marina Hegering and Co. played almost flawlessly. But you could no longer assert yourself in the front third. The lively Huth in particular was clearly running out of strength.
France takes over after an hour
The French women gradually became overweight. And opportunities. In the 63rd minute, Diani beat Hendrich in the penalty area and put the ball on for Selma Bacha, who threw the ball in the head of Hendrich, who had hurried back.
And the corner that followed was also dangerous: for the first time, Wendie Renard, who was extremely strong in the air, could not be defended. Frohms had to parry her header spectacularly. Four minutes later, Diani was unable to capitalize on a major mistake by Hegering.
Pure energy: Popp heads it 2-1
The German team faltered – and Voss-Tecklenburg reacted: brought more physicality into midfield with Sydney Lohmann and Linda Dallmann for Sara Däbritz and Lina Magull. And the pendulum swung again. The German team held its own better in midfield.
For the renewed lead, however, an energy performance from the captain was necessary: Huth crossed from the right again after a deflected French ball – in the center Popp took two steps and headed the game machine inimitably into the net to make it 2:1. A glorious goal.
This goal was enough for a place in the final at Wembley against England. Despite their best efforts, the French did not come back. In the last minute, Dallmann almost made it 3-1. The rest of the 90 minutes could be rocked over time.
Germany 2-1 France (1-1)
Gates: 1: 0 Popp (40th), 1: 1 Frohms (own goal, 44th), 2: 1 Popp (76th)
Referee: Cheryl Foster (Wales)
Germany: Frohms – Gwinn, Hegering (81st Doorsun), Hendrich, Rauch – Oberdorf, Däbritz (69th Lohmann) – Huth (90th Waßmuth), Magull (69th Dallmann), Brand – Popp
France: Peyraud-Magnin – Perisset, Mbock Bathy, Renard, Karchaoui – Geyoro, Bilbault, Toletti (80th Sarr) – Diani, Malard (46th Bacha), Cascarino (61st Mateo)