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

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

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

The eight-time winners are the second team into the semi-finals after hosts England but Austria’s coach cannot choose between the two as favourites.

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

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

Germany bid gathers pace

Germany players celebrate
Germany secured a record 10th European Championship semi-final place with victory over Austria (Nick Potts/PA)

Germany may have needed a 90th-minute Popp goal to make sure of their progress but coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said there should be no doubt they deserve to go through. “We played against a very good side. Huge compliments to Austria. The game could have ended 6-3,” she said post-match. “We didn’t want to concede so many set pieces but we did better in the second half and I still believe that we leave the pitch as deserved winners.” Midfielder Lina Magull added: “It was end to end for the whole 90 minutes. It was a very intense game. Compliments to Austria: they never stop fighting. We were also a bit lucky because we gave them too many chances.”

Gerhardsson silent on selection issues

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

Sweden boss Peter Gerhardsson was tight-lipped over his selection issues ahead of their quarter-final with Belgium. Defenders Hanna Glas and Emma Kullberg both tested positive for Covid on Wednesday and their coach refused to discuss their chances of participation. Asked if either player had since tested negative, Gerhardsson said: “I’m not going to answer that question. I don’t want to give Belgium any advantages before a game in the quarter-final.”

Serneels thinks Swedes could be nervous

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

Belgium coach Ives Serneels has suggested his Swedish counterpart could be nervous ahead of their sides’ Euro 2022 quarter-final on Friday. Gerhardsson has been reluctant to speak too much about his side ahead of the clash at Leigh Sports Village to prevent Belgium gaining an advantage. “It is football. It is a quarter-final of the European Championship. Maybe it shows a bit of nervousness of the other side. For me I don’t see any problem,” he said.

Dutch out for revenge

Netherlands coach Mark Parsons is looking to prove their improvement to France in their quarter-final meeting on Saturday after their last meeting ended in a 3-1 defeat in February.  “We’re playing big opponents, and so are they. I don’t think they want to play us. The (February) result wasn’t what we wanted but we said that that the next time we played them, we were confident that we would be better. We saw opportunity.”

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July 22

Quarter-final: Sweden v Belgium (8pm, Leigh Sports Village)

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