Germany Advance semi-finals of the European Women's Championship

Few would have predicted such a close encounter as Germany faced their toughest test yet in their quest for a record-breaking eighth European championship.

After stealing the ball from an Austrian defender, Klara Buhl crossed the ball into the box where Alexandra Popp, who was going for her fourth goal in as many games, left the ball for the waiting Lina Magull to score the game’s first goal.

As Austrian goalkeeper Manuela Zinsberger tried to play out from the back but failed, Popp pushed a boot out to nudge the ball into the goal in the game’s closing seconds.

The Wolfsburg attacker is within one goal of England’s Beth Mead in the race for the Golden Boot after scoring in four straight Euro games, tying the mark set by Heidi Mohr between 1989 and 1993.

READ MORE: England advances to the European Women’s Championship semi-finals

“Austria was a very challenging opponent, making the game extremely tight. I’m glad to have completed my fourth goal, and I’m also glad and proud of the squad “said Popp.

“We weren’t the top pick at first, but now the whole world knows who we are. We are so powerful because of our tremendous sense of unity, which is why I believe that history has not yet come to an end.”

Despite having 117 international appearances under her belt, Popp had never competed in the Euros after recovering from a long-term injury that sidelined her for 10 months before the competition.

“I struggled greatly with my injuries last year, so I’m grateful to be here. I feel fantastic, I’m free, and I can support my team “She said.

“We’re delighted to have so many admirers in attendance. We need the encouragement and support, and that is a really positive feeling. We are encouraged by Germany’s backing and will work tirelessly to get to the final.”

The team of Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had some success against Austria, but they still have a lot to improve on before the semi-final matchup with France or the Netherlands in Milton Keynes on Wednesday.