German-speaking shock, impatient “legionaries” and the host country England was very scared

On the bill: Germany-Austria

The Austrians celebrate for Ada Hegerberg their victory over Norway (1-0) on July 15, synonymous with qualifying for the quarter-finals of Euro 2022.

For Austria, the mission seems impossible. Defeat the Germans? Irene Fuhrmann’s players have never done that, in their only two encounters (4-2 defeats in 2016, 3-1 in 2018). But around this second quarterfinal of the European Championship, Thursday 21 July, there is an unprecedented smell. Firstly, because these neighboring countries have never met in competition, only in friendly matches. Then, because despite their usual favored status, Germany – eight-time European champions – remain in the tournament after two quarter-final eliminations: against Denmark (1-2) at Euro 2017, then against Sweden (1-2) at the 2019 World Cup. was organized in France.

Also read: Football European Championship 2022: Germany, eight-time European champion, wants to recapture

So no inferiority complex for Austria, whose thirteen players evolve in the German championship. “Our Legionnaires [le surnom de ces treize joueuses] burn to play this game”, assured Irene Fuhrmann after the July 15 win against Norway (1-0), which allowed them to qualify.

The Germans have dominated since the start of the European Championship and will try to keep a clean sheet, but above all to break the Austrian lock: in 2017, Austria lost for the first time in an international match in the semi-final, after two matches to penalties (0 -0 against Spain and then against Denmark).

Austria-Germany, Thursday at 9 p.m., at Brentford Community Stadium in London, and live on lemonde.fr.
The winners of the match will face France or the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Eurostar: Klara Buhl

German striker Klara Bühl works against defender Nora Heroum in Frauen-Mannschaft's 3-0 win over Finland on July 16.

Germany boasts of advocating collective play over individuality, not because of a lack of talented players, but on principle. This allowed it to become the best European team and then see the rise among the young generations of round ball nuggets. At the age of 21, Klara Bühl – twenty-seven selections and thirteen goals – perfectly illustrates the attacking model that her coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg desired.

The Bayern Munich winger, who has been at ease since the start of the European Championship, likes to leave the spotlight to her team-mate Alexandra Popp (three goals), to be decisive when her team needs it most. Against Spain (2-0), July 12, his doubts gnawed at them and opened the scoring in the third minute. However, we should not expect the slightest praise from his coach, who is already focused on the rest: “We’d better be humble and take the next step”she said after the win over La Roja.

Volleyball: a hundred selections and ambitions

“I hope we can shake things up in Austria and show a lot of people how great women’s football is. »

The quarterfinals against Germany will sound different for one of Irene Fuhrmann’s players: Sarah Zadrazil. As the frontrunner in the development of women’s football in her country, the midfielder will celebrate her 100th birthday on Thursday. national team, just 29 years old.

Involved since her early years, the No. 9 knows that Austria’s track at Euro 2017 (semi-finalist) helped mark them. In an interview for the Austrian Football Associationreminded the one who is “legionary” at Bayern Munich of her ambitions: to put in a performance against the Germans and make Austrian women’s football shine even more.

Corner of Blue Sky: Melvine Malard, Paid Sacrifices

Melvine Malard (left) next to Grace Geyoro, at a press conference in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Bleues base camp, on July 20.

Since Marie-Antoinette Katoto’s injury package for the rest of the European Championship and Ouleymata Sarr’s half-hearted entry against Belgium on July 14, all eyes have been on Melvine Malard. Against Iceland (1-1) on Monday, the number 12 scored the only French goal after forty-three seconds, making her the youngest tricolor scorer at the European Championship at 22.

To understand the trajectory of the Olympique Lyonnais player, we have to go back to 2014. At the age of 14, the young girl left her native Reunion to join the OL training center. She first stayed with a cousin and was joined by her family when her first professional contract was signed, in 2018.

At a press conference on Wednesday, July 20 in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Melvine Malard returned to this trajectory: “It was a great sacrifice. I have always stuck to my dream and my goals. Today it pays off for me, it is good for my family. I will continue to give everything. » Melvine Malard will have another chance to shine in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands on Saturday, a match for which she has a good starting chance.

Also read: Euro 2022 women’s football: a first round at two speeds

In retrospect: England defeated Spain in extra time

The English were trembling but qualified for the semi-finals of their Euro by eliminating the Spaniards 2 goals to 1 after extra time (1-1 after regular time) in Brighton on Wednesday. Esther Gonzalez Rodriguez opened the scoring for Spain (54th), Ella Ann Toone grabbed the equalizer (84th) and Georgia Stanway scored the qualifier (96th). After four matches in 14 days, Sarina Wegman’s selection can recharge the batteries. England will face Sweden or Belgium in the semi-final on July 26.

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