The dream of the French women’s football team came to an end shortly before 11 p.m. on Wednesday July 27 in Milton Keynes (England). This summer dream, that of winning the first international title in its history, was extinguished by Germany (2-1), in the semi-finals of Euro 2022. In the final, the National team will challenge England in their lair of Wembley (London), Sunday at 6 p.m.
Undefeated since the start of the Euro before this meeting, the Blues had great hopes. Admittedly, Germany, from the height of its eight European titles, knew much better the peaks of a last four, unlike the France team, a novice at this level in the European championship.
But from this tournament, the French women will long remember the name of Alexandra Popp. The German striker dashed the hopes of the France team by planting an angry header on a cross from Svenja Huth (2-1, 76e), the sixth goal in this Euro for Popp who joins the English Beth Mead at the top of the scoring charts.
In the first period, it was already her who opened the scoring for the Germans. Her outstretched leg recovery from the center of Svenja Huth, again, had logically rewarded the domination of her team (1-0, 39e).
More pressing, more physically present, the players of Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had put their paw on this semi-final. France was overwhelmed and only responded with repeated faults. Moreover, on one of the many dangerous free kicks of the first period, Alexandra Popp could already have found the target without a save from Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (22e).
It is therefore quite logical that France was behind, they even thought of going back to the locker room with this goal behind. It was counting without the inspiration of Kadidiatou Diani, at the origin of the equalizer. Just before the break, the PSG striker forced Merle Frohms to score against his side, his shot ricocheting off the back of the goalkeeper after hitting the left post (1-1, 44e).
A sudden reaction against the course of play
The reaction without delay of the French, however dominated in the game, suggested that there was an opening to rush into the final at Wembley. In the second half, the Blue confirmed by being much more threatening. Entering half-time, Selma Bacha was all the good shots, hitting (63e79e) or in the pass like this corner dropped on the head of Wendie Renard (63e). At the end of the match, his centers unfortunately did not find his partners.
As in the quarter-finals against the Netherlands (1-0 aet), it will have lacked efficiency for Corinne Deacon’s players to see further than the last four. Even if they shook the German nets for the first time in the Euro, it was not enough to avoid the stab from Alexandra Popp in the last quarter of an hour. “We had all the elements, we had the mind, we lacked a little efficiency, but this French team is united with sometimes good times, sometimes bad”regretted Selma Bacha at the microphone of TF1.
“Obviously, we would have liked another outcome. Now we’ve come across a tough opponentcontinued, hotly, coach Corinne Deacon. We gave everything, we have no regrets, the girls were good tonight, gave everything they had to give. We see what we are missing from these great selections. One day it will come for us. »
The French team will not bring back a first title in its suitcase but it has nevertheless taken a step forward. For the first time since the London Olympics in 2012, she broke the glass ceiling of the quarter-finals. Now all eyes are on the 2023 World Cup (July 20-August 20) hosted in Australia and New Zealand.