Women’s Euros: Germany into semis after win over Austria

Germany booked their place in the semi-finals of the European Women’s Championship with victory over Austria at Brentford’s Community Stadium.

It was a tighter game than many would have expected as Germany faced their biggest test yet in their pursuit of a record-extending ninth European title.

Klara Buhl hustled the ball from an Austrian defender and crossed into the box where Alexandra Popp, on for her fourth goal in four games, unselfishly left the ball to the arriving Lina Magull who slotted home to open the scoring.

Popp got her moment in the dying minutes of the match as Austria goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger’s attempt to play out from the back backfired and Popp stuck a boot out to nudge into the net.

The Wolfsburg forward has scored in four consecutive Euro matches, equalling the record of Heidi Mohr who did so between 1989 and 1993, and moves within one goal of England’s Beth Mead in the battle for the Golden Boot.

“It was a very intense game – Austria was very hard to play against. I’m happy to finish my fourth goal and happy and proud of the team,” said Popp.

“At the beginning we were not the top favourite and now we’ve shown all the world where we are. I think the team spirit is very important for us and that’s the point where we’re so strong and we hope the history has not ended.”

Despite having earned 117 international caps, this is Popp’s first Euros tournament after returning from a long-term injury which kept her sidelined for 10 months in the build-up to the competition.

“I had a very hard time last year [with injury] – I’m very thankful to be here. I’m free, I feel good and I can help my team,” she said.

“We’re very happy to have very many fans here. We need the spirit, the support and that’s a very good feeling. We also feel the support from Germany – we’ll give our all to get to the final.”

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side benefited from an element of luck against Austria but will have plenty to work on before they face France or the Netherlands in the semi-final in Milton Keynes next Wednesday.

BBC SPORT.

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