Germany boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg praised Alexandra Popp and a “very solid” performance from the side after they concluded their group games at Euro 2022 with a 3-0 win over Finland in Milton Keynes.
The eight-time champions, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals as Group B winners after beating Denmark 4-0 and Spain 2-0, made a series of wasted shots on target at the Stadion MK before taking the lead in the 40th minute went over the header of Sophia Kleinherne.
Germany captain Popp then scored her third goal of the tournament with a header in the 48th minute, and substitute Nicole Anyomi added a goal just after the hour.
In each of the group games, there was a header for Popp, who is in her first EURO finals after missing the last two editions through injury and only returned to action a few months ago after being sidelined by a for almost a year was knee problem.
Voss-Tecklenburg said of the 31-year-old Wolfsburg striker’s goalscoring: “You expect that from a centre-forward.
“We know how good her head is and how she affects opponents, so we deliberately gave her 90 minutes today to give her a little more fitness – and I think she’s ready for her fourth goal!”
Voss-Tecklenburg assessed Germany’s performance: “We didn’t always reward ourselves, but Finland did a lot at the back.
“If we had met a little earlier it would have been a little easier for us. It wasn’t a brilliant performance, but it was a very solid one, everyone was full of passion.
“We tried very hard. Not everything worked. But nine points, 9-0 goals (for and against), we would not have believed that before – if someone had bet on it, they would have made a lot of money with it. So we are very happy.
“We’ve been able to give our players more playing time, which is really good because it’s a lot better than just giving them practice time. We did very well and are now looking forward to the quarter-finals.”
In the round of 16, Germany meets Austria – second behind England in Group A – in Brentford on Thursday.
Commenting on the upcoming game, Voss-Tecklenburg added: “We’re really looking forward to this game. It won’t be that easy – it’s the quarter-finals of the European Championship and Austria deserves to be there.
“We are a small favorite (to win against Austria) but we have to live up to that.
“There are still a lot of great teams in the race, some difficult opponents. England, Spain (playing each other in another quarter-final), Germany, Austria – some great games there.”
Finland, who will be eliminated from the tournament before this game, is eliminated without a point after previously losing 4-1 to Spain and 1-0 to Denmark.
Boss Anna Signeul, whose team is 24 places behind fifth Germany in the world rankings, said: “I think we performed well again.
“Of course we didn’t get the result, but I think we’re defending well organized again. We really fight the whole game and I think the players who were on the pitch did very well.
“I think it was a fantastic experience for the players. Those are the games where you develop and I think you can see in this tournament how those players have grown.
“These are matches they don’t have every day, not many of them. That’s how you develop, you have to be in environments that force you to be faster, to make faster decisions. I think we’re already seeing that these players have evolved and will continue to evolve.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/germany-finland-denmark-spain-austria-b2124930.html Martina Voss-Tecklenburg praised Germany’s “very solid” performance after the win