The German Women’s Football team’s story of victory and strong performances continued as the team reached the semifinals of EURO 2022 on Thursday, as they defeated Austria 2-0 in the last eight.
Lina Magull and Alexandra Popp scored the goals to put the German Women’s Football team into the winning position. Germany largely controlled the match, however, the Austrians turned out to be the difficult test many expected them to be. They hit the frame of the German goal on three separate occasions and Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side could consider itself very lucky not to have conceded in this match.
After hosts England let in their first goal of the tournament in their 2-1 quarterfinal win over Spain, German keeper Merle Frohms is now the last remaining starting shot stopper yet to concede a goal in the competition.
Despite the seemingly comfortable score line of 2-0, the truth of the matter is that Austria more than held their own in the match and deserved to share the pitch with the eight-time Women’s EURO champions.
Though Germany started each half promisingly, in both cases that didn’t last long and they let Austria dictate more of the play. In both halves, Germany scored suddenly from an Austrian defensive mistake, during arguably their opponents’ most dangerous spells of the game.
Germany’s second goal in particular fit that pattern. Popp took the ball and scored as Austrian goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger and her closest defender were too slow playing out of the back.
The first goal of the game also originated from a simple mistake in defence.
The old quote by Gary Lineker comes to mind: “Football is a simple game: 22 men (in this case women) chase a ball for 90 minutes and, in the end, the Germans always win.”
The German team was simply ruthless in making the Austrians pay for those two mistakes in particular, while the latter lacked the killer instinct. That is exactly what one needs to win these kinds of games.
That is not by any means to say that Germany didn’t deserve their win. On the contrary, they were the better team, bossing the most relevant statistics. It was just that Austria seemed to try harder, looking more dangerous in attack than their opponents.
Germany will now face the winner of Saturday’s encounter between France and the Netherlands in Wednesday’s semifinal. Regardless of which team advances to play them, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team will have to improve a lot, if they are to reach next Sunday’s final at Wembley, let alone win the tournament.
main image credits: