Germany beat impressive France to secure place in Euro 2022 final

Even on a night like today, when for most of the second half it seemed like the team was just fighting for survival against a ferocious and hard-fought French team, Germany somehow found a way to win.

Alexandra Popp’s goals on either side of an own goal by Merle Froms gave Germany a 2-1 win and qualification to the Euro 2022 final where she will face England in a mouth-watering encounter on Sunday.

But it was a battle that Germany will probably still feel for the rest of the week, while French players might still be wondering why they are not fighting England.

Chance after chance came and went for France in the second half before Popp, who led Germany in that tournament, made Les Bleus pay dearly with a clinical header with 13 minutes left.

Having made it through Wednesday’s grueling semi-finals, there will be no challenge for this German team to fear and the team will be confident of expanding their extraordinary Euro record to nine titles.

German domination

Germany’s defeat in the quarter-finals of Euro 2017 ended their remarkable 22-year reign as European champions. To put the country’s dominance in this competition into context, out of the 12 European Women’s Championships being played, Germany has won eight of them.

This version of the national team is desperate to get their country back to the top of European international football and has achieved some impressive results in Euro 2022 thanks in large part to their tight defense that has yet to concede a goal in the tournament.

Conversely, France has very little experience in the Euro. Wednesday’s match marked the first ever European Championship semi-final, and the team had a bumpy ride to get there.

A deflected blow from Kadidiatou Diani saw France level with Germany.

First, it was a big surprise when it was announced that hardy midfielder Amandine Henry had been left out of the squad for this tournament, sparking reports of discontent in the French camp before star striker Marie Antoinette Catoto suffered an ACL injury in the group. internships.

But, to France’s credit, there were no first signs that this team would be overwhelmed by the situation or its opponent.

The first 20 minutes were tense as both teams started the game just feeling each other out. Neither side seemed willing to send enough forces forward to really harass the other, but France began to show flashes of the danger she possessed in the counterattack.

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In particular, the wingers Delfina Cascarino and Cadidiatou Diani posed a threat to Germany’s invincible defense.

However, it was Germany that made the first significant effort of the game when goalkeeper Pauline Peyrot-Magnin fired Alexandra Popp’s brilliant free kick over the post.

A testament to the quality of the save was that many of the German fans in the stadium had already begun to rise from their seats in celebration, but were disappointed by Peiro-Magnien’s fingertips.

A sizable group of French supporters in the corner to the right of the Peyrot Magnin goal saw their goalkeeper’s heroism perfectly and greeted them approvingly before leading most of the stadium chanting “Allez Les Bleus”.

But as the game neared halftime, a moment of quality five minutes before the whistle broke the deadlock, seemingly out of nowhere.

Sweeney Hut’s cross into the box was met by Popp, whose instinctive drive into the box from six yards allowed her to beat French defender Eva Perisse and put the ball into the net.

Germany players celebrate Popp's first goal of the match.

France responds

This was certainly the goal this game needed and it was the one that breathed life into the competition.

After 40 minutes of waiting for the first goal, the 27,445 players at the MK Stadium had to wait only five minutes for the second goal.

Diani thought she scored the goal her first effort deserved, but replays showed her long-range shot hit the post and bounced off German goalkeeper Froms, who was credited with the botched own goal.

It certainly made France feel at home in this arena and the team came out of the break with new intensity.

Just after the hour mark, substitute Selma Bachey had a great chance to put her team ahead with ball control and deft spin in the box, but she was thwarted by a brilliant block from defender Katherine-Julia Hendrich.

A towering Wendy Renard climbed from the resulting corner to the far post, but her header was strangled on the line.

Now the chances for France were getting bigger and bigger as the frustrated German side began to make mistakes. Bach was again beaten off from a narrow angle, this time with the feet of the goalkeeper Froms.

French fans sensed disappointment brewing on the cards, and the chant of “Allez Les Bleus” was now louder than ever, echoing across the ground.

But even with its back against the wall, Germany is an unrelenting force to be reckoned with at the Euro.

German players celebrate victory after the final whistle.

No team in any European competition can come close to the German record in this tournament, and years of dominance have given this national team remarkable self-confidence.

With all signs pointing to a French victory, Popp reappeared at the end of Huth’s serve and gave Germany the lead, this time heading past Peiro-Magnin.

While Popp shook her fists at a distraught section of the German fans, the French players looked shocked and downtrodden, heads bowed as they made their way back to the center circle.

Both teams had even better chances, but now a German victory seemed inevitable.

When the main whistle blew, many German players collapsed to the floor, exhausted by the physical and emotional toll it took to defeat the French team, which, no doubt, will be the main force in the international arena for some time to come.

Another grueling test awaits Germany against England on Sunday – perhaps the toughest yet – but the eight-time champion has no doubt he can make it through those nine.