England-Germany Live Updates: Euro 2022 Final
The race for the golden boot, awarded to the tournament’s top scorer, most likely will be decided by two women playing in Sunday’s Euro 2022 final: forwards Beth Mead of England and Alexandra Popp of Germany.
Mead, a 27-year-old who generally works the right wing when she is not suddenly popping up unmarked in the penalty area, has emerged as a surprisingly potent scorer and creator at the Euros, with six goals and three assists on an array of flicks, volleys, headers and one dribbling masterclass. She padded her goals total with a hat trick in England’s 8-0 rout of Norway in the group stage.
Popp has been a bit more direct, and a bit more consistent: Four of her six goals have come on headers, and she has scored in every one of Germany’s games at the Euros. Alexandra Popp opens the scoring for Germany 🇩🇪
She has scored in every single game this tournament 🤯 pic.twitter.com/cRUlG0Q5iv — ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 27, 2022 Popp’s output has hardly been a surprise; she has won nearly everything as a player, from Champions League crowns to an Olympic gold medal. But it has been personally rewarding for a different reason: Until this year, Popp, 31, had never played a game in the Euros. Injuries had kept her out of the two previous editions, and a knee problem nearly ruled her out of this summer’s event, too. Popp didn’t start Germany’s opener, instead coming on as a substitute and scoring on a diving header. She hasn’t looked back since. “I am more emotional than I used to be because I know how I have arrived at this point,” Popp said. “Being here, having this opportunity to perform like this, being fully fit at this stage, that makes me very proud.” The only wild card in the golden boot debate could be England’s Alessia Russo. She has four goals in the Euros, all of them as a supersub off the bench. But her getting three against a Germany team that has conceded only a single goal in the tournament would be a shock.