Martina Voss-Tecklenburg described Germany’s showdown with England as “a great football feast” as her side booked their place in Sunday’s Euro 2022 final with a 2-1 victory over France.
“England have been incredible in this tournament,” the manager said. “They are so confident. But the first 30 minutes against Sweden showed that you can hurt them so it will be our task to do that.
“We’ll play in Wembley in front of about 80 or 90,000 people; most of them probably rooting for England, only a very few for us. But we are accepting the challenge.”
Fans were treated to an eye-catching contest that fizzed with quality. With both sides trading blows, Alexandra Popp fired her side ahead with a sweetly struck volley. France showed their mettle and hit back straightway when Kadidiatou Diani’s drilled effort bounced in off the unfortunate Merle Frohms.
“They found different solutions so we had to adapt,” Voss-Tecklenburg added. “We scored the goal [but] unfortunately, we conceded straight away. But we were very calm at half time because we knew we just had to continue as before. What was important was the energy that we had, the defensive will and courage to go into the duels the way we did.”
The winner came from the indomitable Popp once more, rising high in the box for her sixth of the tournament. The forward described herself as “a little bit speechless” after Germany reached their first final since 2013. “We’ve shown what we can do,” she said. “In the last few months we always talked about a lot of quality that we have in the squad and we only just have to show this power on the pitch. I have been in this team for 10 years so the team spirit, honestly, I have never experienced anything like that.”
All French manager, Corinne Diacre, could do was lament her side’s poor finishing. “They gave it a good go,” she said. “Unfortunately, the proof was not in the pudding, especially if we think about the second half … but we have built something with this hard-working group, a group that doesn’t like to lose.”