Euro 2022 match of the day: Germany meets Austria for the semi-final place

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Eight-time champions Germany meet Austria tonight in Brentford in the second quarter-finals of Euro 2022 (kick-off 8pm).

Many have been in charge of the Euros over the past three decades. They have won eight out of ten tournaments since 1989, but were eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2017.

The two-time world champions were flawless in the group stage, scoring nine goals and conceding zero as they led the group. Star striker Lea Schüller has returned to training after a positive Covid-19 test and hopes to be back in the race tonight.

Austria need to be at the top of their game to cause excitement against their neighbors tonight. Irene Fuhrmann’s side finished second in their group with a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland and a 1-0 win over Norway after losing to England in their opening game.

Austria have already played in a quarter-final and beat Spain on penalties at Euro 2017.

The winners will meet either France or the Netherlands in tonight’s semi-finals, which take place in Milton Keynes on Wednesday 27 July.

Important statistics: Germany have won both previous encounters 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 losing to Denmark in 2017. Austria has won nine of the last eleven games in all competitions.

KEY FIGURES

Alexandra Popp (Germany)

The 31-year-old midfielder has started all three games so far, scoring one goal in each. The striker found the net in the teams’ last meeting and could equal a German goal record in four straight EURO games if she scores tonight. With 114 caps, the captain is the most experienced player in the German squad.

Nicole Billa (Austria)

The Hoffenheim striker was top scorer in the 2020/21 women’s Bundesliga with 23 goals in 22 games. Her winning goal against Norway sealed Norway’s place in the quarter-finals and was also her first goal at the European Championship. Billa found the net in the teams’ last meeting and will be key if Austria are to shock Brentford.

WHAT YOU SAID

Alexandra Popp, Germany captain: “Austria have a strong team spirit and they run until their legs fail. You can feel the euphoria in the team. We cannot underestimate them. Well, that can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.”

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

ON TV

Germany vs Austria, RTÉ2/BBC1, 8.0

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