Sport Bilder des Tages 12.07.2022, Fussball, UEFA Womens EURO 2022, Deutschland - Spanien, GB, London, Brentford Community Stadium Bild: v. li. Jubel nach dem Tor zum 2:0, jubelnd, bejubelt, jubelt, jubeln, emotionen, Torschuetzin Alexandra Popp Deutschland 11 jubelt mit der Bank *** 12 07 2022, football, UEFA Womens EURO 2022, Germany Spain, GB, London, Brentford Community Stadium picture v li cheering after goal to 2 0, cheering, cheers, emotions, goalkeeper Alexandra Popp Germany 11 cheers with the bench Copyright: HMBxMedia/xHeikoxBecker

She rushed straight to the bench towards her teammates. Alexandra Popp knows exactly what counts in this European Football Championship and what will be important in the further course of the tournament. To her teammates, who were so happy for her when she scored her first European Championship goal in the game against Denmark.

The 31-year-old apparently wanted to return that after her goal to make it 2-0 against Spain. Of course, she didn’t forget Lea Schüller, who is still in quarantine because of her corona infection, and wore Schüller’s jersey with number seven after the final whistle.

Of the squad, which includes 23 players, only five players are still out of a tournament. The two goalkeepers Almuth Schult and Ann-Kathrin Berger and the field players Laura Freigang, Sara Doorsoun and Nicole Anyomi, all three active at Eintracht Frankfurt. Tabea Waßmuth and Sophia Kleinherne came on for the first time against Spain.

Due to the fact that the place in the quarter-finals is already certain before the last group game this Saturday against Finland (9 p.m., ZDF), national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has the opportunity to at least give the field players a few minutes of play.

It is a common practice at European or World Cups to let a so-called B-Elf play as soon as participation in the knockout phase is certain in order to protect regular players. Except that in Germany there can be no talk of B-Elf.

Substitutes Linda Dallmann, Lena Lattwein and Sydney Lohmann had already fitted in seamlessly against Denmark and worked immediately. There is no sign of a possible drop in performance due to the change. “We clearly see ourselves as an important factor in pushing the team consistently. You can also tell that the team is achieving it,” said Dallmann, who has come off the bench in both group games so far.

That could differentiate the German team from other nations. At least against Denmark and Spain one had the impression that the substitutes needed their time to find their way into the game, unlike the Germans. Time you don’t have when you’re behind. “It’s a great strength because other teams may not have this breadth in their squad. What distinguishes us as a team is that we can set the tone again when the opponent gets tired,” said Dallmann.

Due to the quantitative quality in the squad, Voss-Tecklenburg could also let new players start even if the current starting position did not exist. So far, the national coach has probably only refrained from doing so in order not to cause unrest in the team through too much rotation. That will inevitably change against Finland.

With the two suspensions Lena Oberdorf and Felicitas Rauch, as well as the injured Lina Magull, who had to be substituted at half-time against Spain, three places in the main formation are free. Lattwein could start in the defensive center, who showed a strong performance after her two substitutions.

Kleinherne came on for left-back Rauch after just 60 minutes against Spain and, like Lattwein, was there immediately. It will probably have to be that against Finland, only this time from the start. Dallmann could start for Oberdorf this time, although due to her creativity, dynamism and technique she will probably play further up and replace Magull.

For reasons of load control, Voss-Tecklenburg could also give a player like Popp a break against Finland, who is not yet fully productive again after her corona infection during the preparations for the European Championship. Freigang could get her chance for her, about which Lattwein says: “Huge compliments to Laura, who has not yet been used, but who screams her heart out every game.”

In addition to the balance of the German squad, the chemistry within the team also seems to be right. “A real team spirit has developed,” says Klara Bühl. And Dallmann also sees it that way and at the same time praises the team psychologist and former national player Birgit Prinz, who has had a great influence on this development.

With Finland, Germany meets an opponent who didn’t make it easy for Denmark in particular in the first two games. The DFB team goes into the game as the clear favourite. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be easy to break through the compact defense of the Finns. Even if national coach Anna Signeul’s team is no longer at stake, they will still be willing to say goodbye to the tournament with a good performance.

But the German team will be just as motivated, with Dallmann leading the way: “It’s not difficult to play the last game because we want to finish the group with a clean sheet and go one better. We have the chance to round off the preliminary round again.”