The French team faced Germany with a formidable Alexandra Popp (1-2) in the semi-finals.
The French team will have broken one of their glass ceilings in England, but not two. By defeating the Netherlands last Saturday (1-0 p.), the Blues had put an end to their painful streak of five consecutive defeats in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, on Wednesday evening, it was the semi-final hurdle that again proved to be insurmountable for them. As during the 2011 World Cup or the 2012 Olympic Games, the French women faced a march from a first major international final. At the end of a match that paradoxically eluded them when Germany seemed to be in more difficulty (1-2). Cruel scenario. As the British tabloid wanted The sun in its edition of the day, it will therefore be the Germans who will contest the European title against the English next Sunday (6 p.m.) at Wembley.
Germany strikes first
For half an hour long, this semi-final will have closed in two shifts. Aware that the danger came mainly from the sides, Germany did everything possible to cut off the French wings, with some effectiveness. Mainly because Corinne Deacon’s players couldn’t make the individual differences they occasionally managed to pay off. On the other hand, Captain Wendie Renard was watching the grain and opportunities were also rare on the German side. With the exception of the set pieces, in particular Alexandra Popp’s shot that Pauline Peyraud-Magnin deflected for a corner from a magnificent upright (22nd). To break out of the lethargy into which the encounter threatened to fall, the inevitable Popp had to stand out from the crowd to outrun Ève Périsset on a cross from the right and fire past the French goalkeeper to score her 5th goal of the competition (0-1, 40th). One in each match, the regularity made a woman.
No shot on goal, but a goal from Les Bleues
An early score that had the merit of waking up and stinging the French. And unlike their quarter-final against the Netherlands, when they needed 33 shots, a third of which on target, to find the first goal, this time they didn’t even need to sharpen their sights to score. Indeed, if Kadidiatou Diani’s magnificent shot just before the break ended its run into the back of the net, it was only after it had successively hit the post and the back of the opposing goalkeeper, Merle Frohms, unfortunate in the moment (1-1, 44th). Leading for the first time in this European Cup, France had just demonstrated a formidable ability to react to avoid entering the dressing room with doubts in their heads. Above all, he showed that he was also capable of being realistic during a first act generally dominated by Germany.
Alexandra Popp as Executioner
Which was not going to be the case in the sequel. With the entry at half-time of the young and bubbly Selma Bacha (21 years old), France regained its superb in the sides and at the time of the game, it took two beautiful parades from a Frohms in redemption mode, to a Bacha’s shot (62nd) and then Renard’s point-blank header (63rd), for the Blues to take the lead. Alas, while Germany looked to charge the blow physically, Popp got it out of the way with an angry header (1-2, 76th). At 31 years old, he had just used all his experience to bring his total to six successes in this Eurocup that he made his own, which made the absence of the French Marie-Antoinette Katoto, injured since the second match Without an exceptional goalscorer at this level of the competition, everything becomes more difficult. Les Bleues, despite a furious last quarter of an hour, unfortunately learned this at their cost. So close and so far from Wembley.