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Popp bursts France's bubble to send Germany into Euros final against England

By Paul Myers - RFI
Germany  AFP - DAMIEN MEYER
JUL 28, 2022 LISTEN
© AFP - DAMIEN MEYER

Alex Popp bagged a brace on Wednesday night as Germany advanced to the final of the 2022 women's European championships on Wednesday night following a 2-1 victory over France.

Germany boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg predicted a tight, tactical battle. And her forecast proved accurate.

Both sides kept the ball and tried to look for the tiniest opening.

But there were none.
As a counter to the preceding 40 minutes, the first-half culminated with a flurry of goals.

After patient build-up play down the right, Svenja Huth rifled over a cross which evaded the leap of Lina Magull but Alex Popp met it with a left-footed volley that flew in over France goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.

It was Popp's fifth goal in the tournament.

France skipper Wendie Renard called her teammates into a huddle to encourage them. And they responded within minutes.

Punishment
After Germany failed to clear their lines, Kadidiatou Diani slapped a shot goalwards which hit the post and rebounded off the Germany goalkeeper Merle Frohms and and into the net. It was the first goal they had conceded in the tournament.

Frohms saved her team after 62 minutes getting down well to keep out Renard's header.

And she got down well five minutes later to deny Diani as France began to look as if they had more options

But it was Popp who gave Germany the lead 15 minutes from time with a powerful header.

Her sixth goal of the competition set the game up for a grandstand finish of defence versus attack.

France pushed and probed. But the Germans - seeking a record extending ninth title - held firm to advance to Sunday's showdown against hosts England at Wembley.

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