Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had her eyes closed when a minute’s silence was called for the late Uwe Seeler at Brentford Community Stadium. At that moment, the national coach might be thinking again about what she said before the European Championship quarter-finals against Austria on ARD: “I know that he wanted to watch our game tonight.” And: “That’s why we’re going a bit play far for Uwe Seeler.”
In the Bundesliga duel against the Austrians, Voss-Tecklenburg’s team made it into the semi-finals and would certainly have made Seeler proud. After 90 minutes with a lot of passion but little brilliance, Germany won 2-0 (1-0) and will now meet the winner of the duel France against the Netherlands next Wednesday.
Seven players from the Austrian starting eleven were under contract with a German Bundesliga club last season. The German selection ran in the formation from the Spain game, Voss-Tecklenburg rotated back as expected. Lea Schüller sat back on the bench after surviving the corona infection. That didn’t come as a surprise either. In any case, there were no secrets in the duel between the neighbors, even if it was the first competitive game against each other.
Not much happened in the first few minutes, anyone who had thought that the Germans would suddenly set accents was wrong. Instead, it was the Austrians who fired the first shot on goal. Merle Frohms had no trouble with Julia Hickelsberger-Füller’s rather harmless ball. In return, it quickly went to the other goal, but Alexandra Popp still aimed too high.
Then something happened that shouldn’t have happened: Germany was put under pressure in their own half and lost possession. The snappy Austria team became more and more courageous, the favorites more and more nervous. Austria set some standards, after a corner Marina Georgieva headed the ball to the post, a little later the German defense also swam from a free kick.
And forward? At first it didn’t work too much. The compact 4-1-4-1 system of the Austrians posed problems for the opponents, initially not a trace of creativity. As the momentum tipped more and more in the direction of Austria, Klara Bühl fought Carina Wenninger on the left for the ball, ran to the baseline and then put it back. Popp let through in the middle, Lina Magull, who was standing behind, coolly pushed in for a 1-0 lead.
There it was again, the merciless efficiency of the German women at this European Championship. A short rain shower seemed to wash away the last doubts afterwards. Svenja Huth was on the verge of making it 2-0 just before the break, but was denied by Austria’s goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger. So it went into the break with a narrow 1-0 lead, which was almost extended shortly after the restart – Giulia Gwinn hit the post after preliminary work by the conspicuous Bühl.
In this phase everything spoke for Germany, but another break went through the game of the DFB women. The Austrians became bolder again and scored two aluminum goals through Barbara Dunst and Sarah Puntigam. The favorite faltered, played unclean and committed too many fouls.