France aim to reach first final by beating Germany
France will attempt to reach the European Women’s Championship final for the first time when they face eight-time winners Germany on Wednesday.
The pair meet in Milton Keynes for the right to play either England or Sweden in Sunday’s final at Wembley.
Germany have won all four matches in this tournament, scoring 11 and conceding none in the process.
France, who are in their first semi-final, needed extra time to beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the last eight.
That win saw Les Bleues reach the last four after losing in the quarter-finals in 2009, 2013 and 2017, while also being defeated in the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup and the 2012 Olympics.
Boss Corinne Diacre has challenged her side, third in the world ranking (two places above Germany), to do something no French women’s team has done before and make it to a grand final.
“We’ve reached a milestone, but it’s not over yet,” she said. “We really want to play this final and our ambition was to play on July 31. Now we have an important game to tackle.
“We want to build history. The players and staff now want to write our story and we still have a little way to go.”
“I am very proud, because this team aimed for a big goal; this team really gives everything.”
Germany defeated Austria 2-0 on Thursday, for France’s extra-time win over the Netherlands two days later, although Diacre is not concerned that they will have less time to recover than their opponents.
“It’s the calendar, it’s like that and we knew it from the start,” she added. “We’re going to do as we usually do, we’re going to adapt. I’m not worried.”
Travel problems for second semi-final
This will be the fourth match to be held at Stadium MK, the home of men’s League One side MK Dons, with a 28,600 capacity pitch for the tournament.
However, there will be a national rail strike on Wednesday, meaning fans will not be able to travel to the game by train and will have to look for alternative options.
Spectators are advised not to drive to Stadium MK as there is no parking, but spots are available in the city center at the National Bowl, a 40-minute walk from the venue.
A shuttle bus runs from the city center to the stadium, but tickets cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children – plus booking fees – while a bespoke National Express bus service from London is fully booked.