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Queen Popp, record attendance and a blow for Les Bleues

On the bill: Denmark-Spain

Denmark's Pernille Harder celebrates her winning goal against Finland (1-0) in Milton Keynes (north London), July 12.

This is the final duel that we could expect in Group B before the start of the competition. Behind a German team assured of finishing at the top of the pool, Spain and Denmark will compete on Saturday evening at the Community Stadium in Brentford (London), for the second ticket to the quarter-finals.

Finalists of the last edition of the Euro, in 2017 – beaten by the Netherlands at the time – the Danes managed to recover from their heavy defeat at the start against the Germans (0-4) by imposing against the Finns (1-0) on the second day. Led by Pernille Harder, top scorer in the history of the selection, they will however have to raise their level of play to get rid of Spanish outsiders at the start of the competition.

Except that after an entry victory against Finland (4-1), they were no match for the Germans (0-2). Deprived of its Golden Ball Alexia Putellas but also of striker Jennifer Hermoso, Spain relies on its Barcelonans – they are nine in the workforce – to continue the adventure.

Then comes a much bigger challenge to take up: in the event of qualification, Denmark or Spain will face the host country, England, in the quarter-finals.

Eurostar: Alexandra Popp

German Alexandra Popp celebrates her goal against Spain (2-0) in Brentford (London), July 12.

She is the most experienced of the German players (116 caps, 55 goals), but her status is not indisputable within the team led by Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. At 31, Alexandra Popp is trying to regain her starting position on the front of the German attack. The young woman, who works in a zoo in parallel with her activity as a footballer, has come a long way: absent during the last two Euros due to injuries, she almost missed this one too, sidelined for a year because of a new (knee) injury.

After a few recovery matches with her Wolfsburg club at the end of the season, she is nevertheless among the selected for this Euro. Except that in attack, the young Germans are ambitious, like the (very) talented Klara Bühl, and places are rare. Alexandra Popp therefore started the first match against Denmark on the bench. Before entering the game, to find the net, to start against Spain, and to do again what they do best: score.

Read also: Football Euro 2022: Germany, eight times European champion, wants to regain its acclaim

Alexandra Popp forged this character of a fighter very young, as she told Picture : “I played with men until I was 14. It allowed me to grow faster, to be able to withstand blows faster than the majority of players, to acquire real maturity. Today, I never hesitate to go where it hurts. »

Volley: an already record attendance

Thursday evening, the New York Stadium in Rotherham (near Sheffield) was not just the place of the second consecutive success of the Blue in this Euro. It also made it possible to achieve a record. With the 8,173 spectators present for this France-Belgium, the Women’s Euro 2022 broke the cumulative attendance record for a European championship.

In total, some 248,075 people have already attended matches of the competition in England – not including the two games on Friday evening. This is more than the old record held by Euro 2017 in the Netherlands (240,055 over the entire competition) and that of 2013 in Sweden (216,888).

The opening match between England and Austria, on July 6, had already broken an attendance record for a Euro match, with 68,871 spectators at Old Trafford (Manchester). For the organizers, this competition is already a success. And it’s far from over, since there are still thirteen games to play, including a final at Wembley (London).

Piece of blue sky: Euro over for Katoto

The images of the wound exit of Marie Antoinette Katoto, Thursday, July 14, during the match of the French team against Belgium (won 2-1), left little hope of seeing the Paris-Saint-Germain striker play again before the end of the Euro.

It’s now official: the tricolor player is out for the rest of the tournament. Marie-Antoinette Katoto, 23, suffers from a ruptured anterior ligament in her right knee and her meniscus is cracked. A big blow for the France team which will now have to do without the services of one of the star players of the Euro.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto went out on injury during the match of the Blue against Belgium, Thursday July 14 at the Euro.

In retrospect: Norway eliminated

One of the favorites of this Euro took the door. Semi-finalists in 2017, Austria beat (1-0) and eliminated Norway and its star Ada Hegerberg, Friday during the third and last day of group A. The Austrians finished second behind England, assured before this match to finish first, and they will challenge Germany, top of Group B, in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

England dominated Northern Ireland (5-0) and will meet Spain or Denmark in the quarter-finals.

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