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Alexandra Popp propels Germany into Wembley showdown with Euro hosts England
The Germans held their nerve to see off France on a day of extended celebrations for the England camp.
Alexandra Popp’s vital brace helped Germany defeat France 2-1 in Milton Keynes to book a place in Sunday’s final against hosts England.
The Germans held their nerve to see off Les Bleus, with Svena Huth claiming two assists in another pulsating contest.
Eight-time European champions Germany can push for a ninth continental crown, and will take on England, who have reached their first Euros final since 2009.
France had forced their way through to their first Euros semi-final, and that relative inexperience eventually told on the night.
Popp praises surprise package Germans
Match-winner Popp insisted Germany have earned the right to push for yet another European crown, having entered the tournament entirely under the radar.
“I can’t put it into words,” said Popp. “We played an amazing game and threw everything in.
“We are incredibly happy, nobody expected us.
“We’re in the final at Wembley against England, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“We earned our self-confidence in all the games.
“The team is just great, they have my back and are happy with me after my whole story of suffering. Now it’s time to recover quickly.”
Oberdorf struggles to take it all in
Young German star Lena Oberdorf admitted she could not comprehend reaching the Wembley final.
“It feels surreal, I need a day to understand it,” said Oberdorf.
“It was once again the commitment and the will to score and defend our goal.
“Unfortunately we conceded our first goal today but that didn’t upset us either. We just our game and carried on.
“Poppi delivered an outstanding header again. She’s just a beast in there, that’s exactly what we need from her.”
Bright versus Popp could light up the final
England’s defensive rock Millie Bright has enjoyed a stellar tournament, but will need all that nullifying nous once again at Wembley on Sunday.
Popp’s canny movement in the box will doubtless cause England problems in the final for the ever-smart Germans. And Bright versus Popp certainly whets the appetite in the early build-up to Sunday’s silverware showdown.
Picture of the day
Stat of the day
Quote of the day
“I never thought I would see England in a Euros final at Wembley with a possible 90,000 crowd. England are using the crowd to their advantage. It’s incredible” – former England star Fara Williams.
Post of the day
England star Lucy Bronze cannot hide her excitement at looking ahead to Sunday’s final at Wembley Stadium.
England v Germany, Wembley Stadium – Sunday, July 31 at 1700.