Germany continue impressive form with win over Austria to reach semi-finals

Germany carried their impressive group stage form into the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over Austria to reach the Euro 2022 semi-finals.

The eight-time winners extended their run of having not conceded a goal in the competition as Lina Magull scored after a well-crafted move midway through the first half.

Alexandra Popp capitalised on an error by goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger to close down a clearance and benefit from the rebound as she scored for the fourth successive match.

France or the Netherlands await in the second semi-final at Milton Keynes on Wednesday.

Germany bid gathers pace

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Germany may have needed a 90th-minute Popp goal to make sure of their progress but coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said there should be no doubt they did not deserve to go through. “We played against a very good side. Huge compliments to Austria. The game could have ended 6-3,” she said post-match. “We didn’t want to concede so many set pieces but we did better in the second half and I still believe that we leave the pitch as deserved winners.” Midfielder Lina Magull added: “It was end to end for the whole 90 minutes. It was a very intense game. Compliments to Austria: they never stop fighting. We were also a bit lucky because we gave them too many chances.” Austria coach Irene Fuhrmann felt her players gave everything, saying: “It’s a hard moment right after the game. When we look back, the team can feel very proud of how they have played — not just today but throughout the tournament. We demanded everything from Germany.”

Gerhardsson silent on selection issues

Sweden boss Peter Gerhardsson was tight-lipped over his selection issues ahead of their quarter-final with Belgium. Defenders Hanna Glas and Emma Kullberg both tested positive for Covid on Wednesday and their coach refused to discuss their chances of participation. Asked if either player had since tested negative, Gerhardsson said: “I’m not going to answer that question. I don’t want to give Belgium any advantages before a game in the quarter-final.”

Serneels thinks Swedes could be nervous

Belgium coach Ives Serneels has suggested his Swedish counterpart could be nervous ahead of their sides’ Euro 2022 quarter-final on Friday. Gerhardsson has been reluctant to speak too much about his side ahead of the clash at Leigh Sports Village to prevent Belgium gaining an advantage. “It is football. It is a quarter-final of the European Championship. Maybe it shows a bit of nervousness of the other side. For me I don’t see any problem,” he said.

Dutch out for revenge

Netherlands coach Mark Parsons is looking to show their improvement to France in their quarter-final meeting on Saturday after their last meeting ended in a 3-1 defeat in February. He said: “We’re playing big opponents, and so are they. I don’t think they want to play us. The (February) result wasn’t what we wanted but we said that that the next time we played them, we were confident that we would be better. We saw opportunity.”

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July 22

Quarter-final: Sweden v Belgium (8pm, Leigh Sports Village)

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