Germany completed a perfect group campaign for the UEFA Women’s EURO for a record fourth time by comfortably beating already-eliminated Finland in Milton Keynes.
40′ Kleinherne header from Germany’s first goal
48′ Popp scores for third straight group game
63′ Sub Anyomi opens an account in Germany
Match in brief: Germany perfect again
Germany knew before today that their destiny was a quarter-final against Austria, but the Group B winners weren’t going to let up and immediately put pressure on Finnish goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela as well as Sanni Franssi, Anna Westerlund, Tuija Hyyrynen and Jenny-Julia Danielsson.
The breakthrough took 40 minutes to come – longer than in Germany’s previous two games – but it was fully deserved, with Sophia Kleinherne rising to nod into full-back Giulia Gwinn’s cross after being provided by a clever pass from Svenja Huth.
The second goal three minutes after the break was almost identical, substitute Kathrin Hendrich this time the center and Alex Popp the leaping striker, making it one goal in all three games of her long-awaited Women’s EURO final.
Another sub, Nicole Anyomi, had provided Hendrich to establish this goal, and just after the hour she joined Kleinherne to open her senior account in Germany with an inclined player.
Player of the match: Linda Dallmann (Germany)
“She showed excellent timing and spatial awareness to join the attacks, playing to the preferences of her attackers. She brought an abundance of energy that created space for others , while breaking the game of the opposition with a committed pressure game.”
UEFA Technical Observer Panel
Mikael Erävuori, Finnish journalist
A brave fight from Finland, but Germany showed their class and scored the goals they needed to win. There was no doubt which team was better tonight, but Finland put Germany to work for the win. Finland has now bid farewell to the tournament and can do so with pride. They gave everything they had – it just wasn’t enough.
Anna-Sophia Vollmerhausen, German journalist
Another win, another clean sheet and again multiple goalscorers – Germany’s 100% record continues in style. They were certainly the favorites tonight and never looked frustrated despite coming up against a Finnish side who were tied for longer than expected. Meanwhile, the German defenders have shown that they are not only there to block shots, but can also contribute in attack, with two goals and two assists in defense tonight. On to the quarter-finals!
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, Germany coach: “It wasn’t brilliant, but we put a lot of power into our attacks. All that was missing was the last pass and precision – we did ourselves a disservice in that regard. We have a tough quarter-final ahead us, us, but we are happy to have crossed the group with so much confidence.”
Anna Signeul, Finland coach: “We played very well against a very strong German team. We had [new] players on the field today. The players showed today that we have a strong squad; I’m proud of all the players in all three games. They made themselves and Finland proud, although of course we weren’t happy with the results.”
Germany goalscorer Alex Popp:”[It feels] very good, of course. Especially to have crowned our last group stage match with a victory, with great energy and that we were able to achieve a great team performance again. I am happy to have been able to help the team with another objective. I wasn’t sure if one of my teammates was still behind me and if I should let the ball pass first, but then I saw that the far corner was quite open. I tried to roll it up but didn’t hit it well. It would have been the icing on the cake, but we’re still happy with the outcome and how it turned out. Our substitutes once again brought a lot of energy and that’s very important to us.”
Sophia Kleinherne, German goalscorer: “Scoring a goal on such a big stage is an incredible feeling. I think the last time I found myself in such a good goalscoring position was probably ten years ago, when I was still a striker “I’m very happy that I was able to contribute a goal to our victory, and I’m very proud to be here at the EURO. To score and be in the starting line-up for the first time made it all very emotional. “
Nicole Anyomi, German goalscorer: “[It was] indescribable, as these were my first minutes of action here at the EURO. I was really happy to finally be able to show what I am capable of. Scoring straight away and also helping to create a goal made it the perfect game and day. I just wanna give my best [out of position at right-back] and it’s still possible to contribute to the attack when pushing up, even if it’s a bit exhausting. It’s a big change, but with practice it gets easier, and I think I did a good job tonight.”
Katriina Talaslahti, Finnish goalkeeper: “It was obviously nice to play my first match [of these finals] for Finland. The result was not what we wanted. I am always happy and proud for the team. We were here at the Women’s EURO, of course we could have done better, but we will be stronger in the next tournament.”
Linda Sällström, Finnish striker: “Germany were as tough as we knew they would be. We held up well defensively, but Germany are a very good team and they were better today. Overall this tournament was an amazing experience and the support we’ve had has been fantastic.”
- Kleinherne’s goal was his first for Germany at any level in 67 appearances since the under-15s.
- Popp is the second player to score in all three group matches at a Women’s EURO: England’s Beth Mead became the first on Friday.
- Germany completed their fourth perfect group campaign after 2001, 2005 and 2009; there have only been nine in total and England (2017, 2022) are the only other nation to have managed more than one.
- Germany went through a group without conceding for the second time, having posted three clean sheets in the 2005 edition. England in this tournament are the only other team to do so.
- Germany have maintained their record for group stage overtaking in all seven Women’s EUROs since the round was introduced (Sweden can match it on Sunday).
- Germany have now passed the group stage in 17 consecutive major tournaments, only managing to do so in the first Olympic tournament in 1996 (although they did not qualify for the 2012 or 2021 Games). Germany have played in 20 group stages of major tournaments (EURO, FIFA Women’s World Cup and Olympics) and have qualified for the round of 16 19 times.
Finland: Talaslahti; Heroum, Pikkujämsä, Kuikka, Koivisto (Auvinen 46); Kollanen (Öling 66), Summanen (Sainio 66), Alanen, Engman (Ahtinen 71); Sällström (Rantanen 81), Kemppi
Germany: Frohms; Gwinn (Anyomi 46), Doorsoun, Hegering (Hendrich 46), Kleinherne; Däbritz, Lattwein, Dallmann (Freigang 76); Huth (Wassmuth 64), Popp, Bühl (Brand 64)