Sports Desk, Jul 27 (EFE).- Alexandra Popp, one of the stars of Women’s Euro 2022, scored twice Wednesday to lead Germany 2-1 over France in their semifinal and set up a title showdown with tournament hosts England.
The Lionesses, in pursuit of their first Women’s Euro crown, will face the eight-time cup winners on Sunday in front of a sellout crowd of 90,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium.
At the individual level, the focus will be on the battle for the Golden Boot between German captain Popp and England’s Beth Mead, each with six goals from five matches.
Germany came into the contest at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes having lost only once in nine Women’s Euro semifinals, while France were making their debut in the last four.
Both teams brought pressure in the offensive zone, but the first shots on target came only in the 19th minute, when German goalkeeper Merle Frohms caught a long strike from Eve Perisset seconds before France’s Pauline Peyraud-Magnin denied Lina Magull on a free kick.
Popp broke the deadlock in the 41th minute with an assist from Svenja Huth. The captain, who missed previous Women’s Euros due to injury, became the first player to score in five matches during a single tourney.
France regrouped quickly after conceding and drew level in the 44th minute as Kadidiatou Diani’s shot bounced off the inside of the post onto Frohms’ back and then into the net.
After keeping a clean sheet in the four previous games, the German keeper was charged with an own goal.
The Germans enjoyed a spell of dominance early in the second half before France seized the initiative and began to threaten. Defender Kathrin-Julia Hendrich got her head to an effort from Selma Bacha in the 63rd minute and Frohms thwarted Wendie Renard on the ensuing corner.
Diani tested the German keeper four minutes later and Bacha fired wide on a chance in the 69th.
Germany went forward relentlessly and Popp put her side ahead to stay with a powerful header in the 75th minute. EFE msg/dr