Austria coach says England and Germany ‘pretty much on the same level’

Austria coach Irene Fuhmann believes there is little to choose between England and Germany at Women’s Euro 2022.

Fuhmann’s side were beaten 2–0 by the Germans, though the result was only secured after Alexandra Popp capitalized on a 90th-minute error by goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger to add to Lina Magull’s first-half goal.

The eight-time winners are only the second team to reach the semi-finals after hosts England, but the Austrian coach cannot choose between the two as favourites.

“It’s very difficult to compare,” he said.

“I think both teams have a lot of individual quality and depth in the team, maybe England play a bit more vertically, but Germany have very fast players, so I think they are two teams that are more or less on the same level.”

Germany’s offer speeds up

Germany players celebrate

Germany secured a record 10th place in the European Championship semi-finals with victory over Austria (Nick Potts/PA)

Germany may have needed a goal from Popp in the 90th minute to ensure their progress, but coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said there should be no doubt that they deserve to go through. “We played against a very good team. Huge congratulations to Austria. The match could have ended 6-3,” she said after the match. “We didn’t want to give up so many set pieces but we did better in the second half and I still believe we came off the field as deserved winners.” Midfielder Lina Magull added: “It was from start to finish for the full 90 minutes. It was a very intense match. Congratulations to Austria: they never stop fighting. We were also a bit lucky because we gave them too many chances.”

Gerhardsson silent on selection questions

Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson

Sweden head coach Peter Gerhardsson refused to discuss the Covid status of two of his players (Steve Welsh/PA)

Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson was quiet about his selection problems ahead of the quarter-final with Belgium. Defenders Hanna Glas and Emma Kullberg tested positive for Covid on Wednesday and their coach declined to discuss their chances of participation. Asked if any of the players had since tested negative, Gerhardsson said: “I’m not going to answer that question. I don’t want to give Belgium any advantage before a quarter-final match.”

Serneels thinks the Swedes could be nervous.

Ives Serneels, Belgium Women's coach

Belgium head coach Ives Serneels suggested his Swedish counterpart may be nervous (Nick Potts/PA)

Belgium coach Ives Serneels has suggested his Swedish counterpart might be nervous ahead of their teams’ Euro 2022 quarter-finals on Friday. Gerhardsson has been reluctant to talk too much about his team ahead of the clash at Leigh Sports Village to prevent Belgium from gaining an advantage. “It’s soccer. It is a quarterfinal of the European Championship. Maybe it shows a little nervousness on the other side. For me I don’t see any problem,” he said.

Dutch looking for revenge

Netherlands coach Mark Parsons looks to show his improvement against France in their quarter-final match on Saturday after their last meeting ended in a 3-1 loss in February. “We are playing against great opponents, and so are they. I don’t think they want to play with us. The result (from February) was not what we wanted, but we said that the next time we played them, we hoped that we would be better. We saw the opportunity.”

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Until next time

July 22

Quarterfinals: Sweden-Belgium (8:00 p.m., Leigh Sports Village)