The German women’s national team defeated France 2-1 in their EURO 2022 semifinal on Wednesday evening, largely thanks to the performance of Alexandra Popp. They will now face the high-flying hosts England in the sold-out Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Regardless of the outcome of the title game itself, it will be a worthy end to a historic tournament, that has smashed previous attendance records and has shown great improvements in the women’s game over the last several years. It will be a worthy final not only because it will involve the two best teams of the tournament by far, but also because of the football historic implications of having this major competition be decided at Wembley between England and Germany.
Alexandra Popp Brace Sends Germany to EURO 2022 Final
Alexandra Popp Leading the way to Victory
But for now, let us return to Wednesday evening’s semifinal. Alexandra Popp decided the game by scoring a brace in the 40th and 76th minute respectively. Before halftime, a French short hit the post and unluckily deflected off of Merle Fromhs back for the 1-1 equalizer. This was the first goal conceded by the new VfL Wolfsburg Women goalkeeper in the tournament. Some critics had raised questions before the start of the competition, as to whether or not the young keeper should really be preferred over the experienced Almuth Schult, but Fromhs was quick to prove them wrong.
The French had many scoring opportunities, especially from set pieces, but they could only manage to score once. Popp on the other hand scored twice. She has been the story for Germany at this EURO, after having missed the 2013 and 2017 versions of the tournament through injury. This is the first European Championship in her career. Alexandra Popp would also have missed this competition for the same reason had it taken place in 2021 as scheduled. A year later, she is finally fully fit and able to captain her side.
Alexandra Popp became the first ever player to score in four consecutive Women’s EURO matches after her goal against Austria in the quarterfinals. Now she has six goals and is the tournament’s joint top leading scorer alongside England’s Beth Mead.
That is just one of the many storylines ahead of Sunday’s final. It will be Germany’s ninth final of a Women’s EURO, having won the previous eight they were in. But after quarterfinal exits in 2017 and at the 2019 World Cup, few experts would have expected them to reach the final this time around. There is no doubt that this final will be more difficult for them, than any others they were in previously. But it is just one game and anything can happen.
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