Alexandra Popp, whose brace helped Germany defeat France 2-1 to book a place in Sunday’s Euro 2022 final, hopes for an “incredible happy ending” to her side’s European journey.
England had already become the first team to secure a final place following their 4-0 win over Sweden at Bramall Lane, but the Wolfsburg forward’s two goals ensured Germany would be the host nation’s opponents.
France briefly levelled due to an unfortunate own goal by goalkeeper Merle Frohms when Kadidiatou Diani’s shot rebounded off the post and onto her back before bouncing into the net, but Popp’s two goals ensured Germany’s progress.
Popp’s header in the second half saw the 31-year-old draw level with England’s Beth Mead in the race for the golden boot with six goals in the competition so far, and the forward is happy to be at the tournament.
“I am very happy to be able to be here, to reach the final that is an incredible story so I hope we will have an incredible happy ending,” she said.
Germany head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg believes her side deserved to be in Sunday’s final in front of a sold-out Wembley, and believes it will be an incredible occasion.
“I think in the end it was a totally deserved win,” she said.
“It will be a great football feast, it’s a classic game and England has been incredible in this tournament, every single game full of dynamics, loads and loads of goals, but the first 30 minutes against Sweden showed you can hurt them.
“We will play in Wembley in front of 80,000 most of them probably for England, very few for us but we are accepting the challenge.
“I am very proud. I look forward a lot to this game, this will be an incredible final.”
Germany played their quarter-final two days earlier than France, who also had to contend with extra time, ahead of the clash in Milton Keynes, and France manager Corinne Diacre believes 48 hours more could have made a difference to the match.
“We saw that some of the French players were maybe not on par with their normal level of fitness, but we didn’t give up, we didn’t throw in the towel,” she said.
“Maybe if we had 48 hours more (rest) it would have been different. I don’t know what the players would have looked like.”
Diacre added: “I said that they gave it their all, they gave it a good go, they gave it everything they had but the proof was not in the pudding.
“Unfortunately efficiency was not on the menu this evening.”