Euro 2022 Game of the Day: Germany take on Austria for semi-final place



Eight-time champions Germany clash with Austria in Brentford tonight, in the second quarter-final of Euro 2022 (kick-off 8.0pm).

ermany have ruled the roost at the Euros for most of the past three decades. Since 1989, they have won eight out of ten tournaments, but exited at the quarter-final stage in 2017.

The two-time World Champions were flawless in the group stage, scoring nine and conceding zero as they topped the group. Star striker Lea Schüller has returned to training after a positive Covid-19 test and will hope to be back in contention tonight.

Austria will have to be at the top of their game to cause an upset against their neighbours tonight. Irene Fuhrmann’s side claimed second in their group with a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland, and a 1-0 win against Norway, after losing to England in the opener.

Austria have played one quarter-final before, beating Spain on penalties at Euro 2017.

The winners tonight will meet either France or the Netherlands in the semi-final, which takes place in Milton Keynes on Wednesday July 27.

Key stats: Germany have won both previous meetings between the sides, with a 3-1 win in 2018 and a 4-2 win in 2016. Germany had reached nine consecutive semi-finals before 2017’s defeat to Denmark. Austria have won nine of their last eleven games in all competitions.

KEY PLAYERS

Alexandra Popp (Germany)

The 31-year-old midfielder has started all three games so far, scoring a goal in each. The forward hit the net the last time the sides met and could equal a German record of scoring in four consecutive Euros matches should she strike tonight. The captain is the most experienced player in the German squad with 114 caps.

Nicole Billa (Austria)

The Hoffenheim striker was the top scorer in the 2020/21 Frauen-Bundesliga with 23 goals in 22 games. Her winner against Norway sealed Norway’s quarter-final spot and was also her first Euros goal. Billa hit the net the last time the sides met, and will be key if Austria are to cause a shock in Brentford.

WHAT THEY SAID

Alexandra Popp, Germany captain: “Austria have a strong team spirit and they run until their legs give out. You can feel the euphoria within the team. We cannot underestimate them. We know several of their players from the Frauen-Bundesliga, but it means that they know us as well. That can be both a pro and a con.”

Irene Fuhrmann, Austria coach: “It’s fantastic and hard to believe that we made it through such a strong group to reach the quarter-finals. We’re very realistic about our next opponents: Germany have been playing very well. It will be tough.”

ON TV

Germany v Austria, RTÉ2/BBC1, 8,0



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