Thursday, August 11, 2022

Germany will play England in 2022 Women’s Euro final as Alexandra Popp’s brace eliminates France in semis

Germany v France: Semi Final - UEFA Women's EURO 2022
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Germany defeated France 2-1 on Wednesday in the 2022 Women’s Euro semifinal to advance to Sunday’s final at Wembley Stadium where they will face tournament hosts England. Alexandra Popp scored twice to seal the deal for the Germans in a tightly contested affair. Sunday will mark Germany’s ninth final appearance in the European championship competition.

Let’s dive into some takeaways and key highlights from the match:

Hectic end to first half

France managed to sustain Germany’s high press while the Germans managed to defend France’s attempts to play in transition. By the half-hour mark things seemed to be pretty even until both teams were able to break through before the halftime whistle. Jule Brand and Svenja Huth created space on the right side to unlock pockets inside the box. A well-timed loft ball into the box from Huth coupled with a solid shot by Popp on an excellent run to beat her defender gave the Germans their first goal of the match in the 40th minute.

The lead was short-lived because minutes later Kadidiatou Diani forced an own goal from 25 yards out. The winger received the ball outside the box and created some space as defenders attempted to collapse on. Diani fired off a rocket which rattled off the post and Germany keeper Merle Frohms for France’s equalizer just before halftime in the 44th minute.

Huth-to-Popp for the win

France quickly returned to the second half with more urgency with head coach Corrine Diacre subbing in Selma Bacha in place of Melvine Malard for a different look on the front line. The impact was immediate as Bacha had a good chance on goal that was defended away and later, veteran center back Wendie Renard had a chance on the far post off a corner kick.

Germany was able to defend the early minutes of the France’s second half efforts before ultimately producing the winning goal in the 76th minute. It was Huth who helped create once more after a failed clearance landed out wide. She was able to deliver another service back into the box and Popp headed the ball into net with authority to give the Germans the lead for good. 

Popp is now up to six goals in the Euros, putting her level with England’s Beth Mead for the golden boot lead. It’s a remarkable comeback story for Germany’s veteran striker who is playing in her first career Euro after dealing with injuries in previous cycles. 

Look ahead

The semifinal win for Germany sets up a historic final against tournament hosts England on Sunday at Wembley Stadium. Both teams will compete for European prominence while Popp and Mead will have one more game to decide the golden boot. It will be the ninth European finals appearance for Germany and the first against England since 2009 when the Germans defeated the Lionesses 6-2. 

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