Germany head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has warned her side “can’t fear failure” ahead of taking on neighbours Austria in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals.
Eight-time Euro winners Germany will arrive at the Brentford Community Stadium on Thursday evening aiming to better their shock last-eight exit five years ago.
Having lifted the trophy on all-but two of their previous appearances in the finals, Voss-Tecklenburg’s side are without doubt the favourites to progress.
But while she has called on her players to show their courage against Austria, she stopped short of talking up the potential of the geography of the two nations impacting on the outcome.
“It makes no difference to us,” she said. “We could be facing Norway, Sweden, Austria or the Netherlands, who are all neighbours of ours as well. It’s a quarter-final at the Euro, and every opponent is deservedly here…it has no impact on us.
“We need to play our game. We can’t be afraid of failure, instead we need the courage to win and to show our quality. We have a big chance to reach the semi-finals, which wasn’t a given heading into this Euro.”
Germany won all three of their Group B matches as they bid to secure a record-extending ninth European crown while the Austrian team finished second behind England in Group A, losing 1-0 to the host nation in the first match of the tournament.
Austria recovered to beat Northern Ireland 2-0 and then Norway 1-0 to progress, becoming the lowest-ranked side left in the finals.
They made their tournament debut in 2017, going all the way to the semi-finals, losing to Denmark on penalties. Head coach Irene Fuhrmann labelled it a “sensation” that Austria are once again mixing it with the top nations in Europe as she prepares her team for a tough challenge.
“It’s a sensation that we are among the top eight teams in Europe again,” she said.
“We have another chance to go up against one of the best teams in this tournament. Germany, like England, have proven how consistent they are. They haven’t yet conceded a goal – it will be an incredible challenge.
“We’re always very meticulous, both in the analysis of our opponent and of our own game. It’s a match which we are really looking forward to, because it’s new for us to play against Germany on such a big stage. I’m very excited to see what we will be able to do.”
‘Austria have exceeded expectations’
The Telegraph’s Tom Garry analyses Germany vs Austria on the Sky Sports Women’s Euros podcast:
“I really underestimated Germany before the tournament. Their form, losing to Serbia, gave a few people, myself included, a false impression of where Germany were at.
“They’ve come out all guns blazing, very fired up. They’re working so hard off the ball and they look fitter and stronger than most of their opponents which we thought would have been a thing of the past given a lot of their opponents have turned professional.
“They look so sharp, athletic and it’s very hard to see them not going deep into the tournament.
“Austria have really exceeded my expectations. They’ve looked really well organised and perhaps it’s shown how much experience there is of the Bundesliga in that team.
“There’s been so many we could name, Barbara Dunst has played very well, Laura Wienroither, I could go on.
“I think it will be a very close quarter-final, I don’t think there will be many goals. I can see it going to extra time, neither team concede many and on that basis it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a low-scoring game. Austria restrict teams to a very low xG.
“Austria were not really fancied at all before the tournament yet they were in the semi-finals five years ago. Maybe there was an element of, ‘They won’t be able to do that again, it was a one off’. But they’ve done very well, all credit to them.”
Who could Germany or Austria face in the semi-finals?
The winner of this quarter-final will play the victor of Belgium vs Sweden, which is being played on Friday night at the Leigh Sports Village with an 8pm kick-off.
The semi-final will take place on Wednesday July 27 at Stadium MK, Kick-off is at 8pm.
Keep up with all the latest from Euro 2022 across Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.
Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.
They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong programme line-up around the tournament.
The knock-out phase…
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: England v Spain – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Germany v Austria – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Friday July 22
Quarter-final 3: Sweden v Belgium – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Saturday July 23
Quarter-final 4: France v Netherlands – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Tuesday July 26
Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley