In a tightly fought game involving many players from the Bayern Munich Frauen side, Germany lost the 2022 Euro final to hosts, England.
England came out of the blocks faster than Germany and for the first ten minutes, the absence of Alexandra Popp definitely showed. Germany’s solid structure at the back meant they stayed disciplined in the face of pressure and was slowly able to gain handle on the game.
The problem was, for all of Germany’s discipline, clear-cut chances were few and far between. For all of Lea Schüller’s talents, she was just returning from a Covid lay-off and was not at her sharpest. Germany’s best chance fell to Sara Däbritz whose attempt didn’t miss by much and Lina Magull who couldn’t manage to get the ball across the line.
Marina Hegering and Giulia Gwinn had a good first half with Magull floating about as she usually does. The first half was choppy in terms of play and what I have to point out is the refereeing. The referee blew her whistle for anything and everything; yellow cards came flying out and sometimes, players got booked for fouls that were difficult to avoid. What she didn’t do was book English players for time-wasting at the end.
Germany brought on Tabea Wassmuth for Jules Brand in the second half. Wassmuth was supposed to provide some cutting edge but missed one of Germany’s best chances on the night. Germany was the stronger side and the interplay was beautiful to watch.
But then, Germany lost the plot for a second at the back. The back-line does not play high to catch the opposition offside; so, when Ella Toone ghosted in between the two central defenders, nobody picked her up until it was too late. Toone lobbed the ball over Merle Frohms; Hegering and Kathrin Hendrich could only look on helplessly.
From there on, Germany looked a bit lost and England seemed likelier to score a second one but Martina Voss-Tecklenburg decided to throw on Bayern Munich’s Sydney Lohmann; the move made a difference as Germany seemed brighter afterward. She was involved in the set up for the equalizer that was about to come from Lina Magull.
After gorgeous interplay between the midfielders and forwards, Wassmuth set up Magull at the near post for her to finish deftly. If a goal was to come, it would have to come from Magull.
Both sides seemed weary after the goal but kept battling on and the game headed to ET.
Extra time — First Half
Nobody was more weary than Magull and she was taken off for another Bayern player, Linda Dallmann. Germany looked stronger and more fresh but no real chances came for either side. Nicole Anyomi had the chance to play some good balls in but her timing did not seem to be in sync with her teammates. Germany also took off Hegering in what seemed to be a strange substitution to me and brought on Sara Doorsoun.
Extra time — Second Half
England started stronger and within minutes, they took advantage. Unfortunately, the taking off of Hegering proved to be a misstep; Chloe Kelly fought hard for the ball off of a corner, had two bites at the cherry and, on the second bite, got the ball past Frohms.
It was unfortunate for Germany as they were the better side and played some beautiful football; Popp’s absence was too hard to overcome and England ran out winners in a tightly contested final. Hopefully, the Bayern girls grow from the experience and enjoy the upcoming Frauen Bundesliga, taking the fight to Wolfsburg for the title.