Football Features

“Popp can’t stop!” – Germany’s captain leads from the front in 2-0 Austria win at Euro 2022

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:20, 21 July 2022

In a truly ridiculous night of football, Germany have beaten Austria 2-0 to make the Euro 2022 semi-final.

The result itself makes perfect sense on paper, but watching the game and it really was wild that the score was 2-0, and that’s with having to rely on Alexandra Popp’s intelligence to get the goals they did!

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Germany were the better side for much of the game, and indeed took the lead through Lina Magull with 25 minutes gone. A great run from Klara Buhl down the left saw her cut the ball back, FIFA 22 style, for Alexandra Popp.

Germany’s top scorer could have taken an off-balance shot but instead she just calmly stepped over the ball, allowing it to roll into the path of Magull who finished calmly low into the bottom corner.

The move for that goal originated because of Popp’s relentless pressing of Manuel Zinsberger. She forced the Austrian goalkeeper to kick it long, allowing an easy recovery and quick counter for the Germans, before throwing that beautiful dummy later.

Popp later in the second-half slid the ball across the face of goal in a move that should have led to Germany’s second goal but Klara Buhl somehow scuffed it wide from very close range, keeping it at 1-0.

Austria took heart from Germany’s misses and had plenty of great chances to equalise in the game. They struck the woodwork twice and constantly looked like they were on the verge of pulling off a ridiculous upset.

But it just seems like it wasn’t to be as the German goal lived a charmed life.

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Then, right at the very end of the game, Alexandra Popp settled the game and equalled a record in the process. With Zinsberger once again looking for passing options, only with more panic given it was the 90th minute, Popp began closing in.

Zinsberger launched it but Popp pounced, closing the gap and blocking the ball so emphatically that it flew into the back of the net for Germany’s second goal. The game was won by Germany’s greatest game-winner.

Alexandra Popp has played four games at European Championships and she’s scored four goals, one in each. She joins the great Heidi Mohr, the three-time Euros winner who also scored in four consecutive Euros matches.

With 57 goals in 118 caps, Popp will have a very hard job surpassing Mohr’s overall record of 83 goals in 104 caps, and her three Euros, but she could definitely score for five straight games. Popp can’t stop! Look at how well she’s been playing!

Every decisive moment Germany produced against Austria came through Alexandra Popp. The German captain truly led from the front and if she keeps up this incredible form, you would find it hard to back anyone to stop Germany winning their eighth European Championship.