Cologne – good, better, VfL Wolfsburg. Alexandra Popp & Co. celebrated their sixth cup triumph in a row with “double winner, double winner” chants.
The German women’s soccer champions, unbeaten so far this season, prevailed on Saturday in Cologne against outsiders SGS Essen with 4: 2 (3: 3, 3: 3, 1: 2) on penalties. VfL thus refined a memorable season with the double and set a new historical record. «Such a cup win is by no means a habit. It’s always something special, and we want to keep going, »said VfL trainer Stephan Lerch.
The Wolfsburg women were the first women’s team to achieve their sixth cup triumph in series and, after the first ghost final of German football, surpassed the previous record of 1. FFC Frankfurt.
Pernille Harder (11th minute), Anna Blässer (70th) and Dominique Janssen (86th) met in the highest class women’s final of the past years for VfL, Lea Schüller (1st), Marina Hegering (18th) and Irini Ioannidou (90th . + 1) for food. After a 3: 3 after 90 gripping and entertaining minutes, the extension remained goalless. “It is not the well-deserved winner on the podium,” complained Essen international Marina Hegering in first disappointment before the award ceremony.
«I am proud of the team. We did very well over 120 minutes. In the end it is a game of chance, »said Essen coach Markus Högner. «We were very close to winning this game. That would have been the crowning glory after the season. Nevertheless, the pride prevails that we made life difficult for such an over-team. That was the best performance this season. »
In the penalty shootout, Wolfsburg’s Pernille Harder converted the decisive shot after goalkeeper Friederike Abt had previously saved two penalties. For Wolfsburg it was the fifth double and the seventh cup success. However, the record winner in this competition remains the 1st FFC Frankfurt with nine titles.
National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and DFB Vice President Hannelore Ratzeburg were treated to a contested match as grandstand guests, in which the outsider from Essen in particular grew beyond themselves. “Respect for the performance of all players,” said Voss-Tecklenburg in the ARD. The SGS was in the lead after just 11 seconds. Schüller got a pass from Lena Ostermeier, outwitted opposing goalkeeper Friederike Abt, who hesitated from her goal with a lifter, and finally pushed the ball over the line from close range.
But the response from VfL was not long in coming. After passing from the base line to Anna Blässer, Harder provided a temporary equalizer with a shot from ten meters.
The favorite seemed to be back on track, but continued to act carefree in defense. National player Hegering benefited from this and brought the SGS back into the lead after a corner with a placed header.
After this wild start Wolfsburg was challenged as rarely in this dominant season so far. With a quick build-up game and a lot of movement, VfL pushed for the equalizer, but found hardly any gaps in the closely spaced opposing defensive. That was entirely in line with the tastes of the eaters known to be strong on the counter, who saved the deserved lead with a lot of commitment during the break.
Even after the restart, the SGS brilliantly set by coach Markus Högner continued to be an uncomfortable opponent and was close to the 3-1 in a shot by Jana Feldkamp (58.) on the inside post. But a remarkable long-range shot of pallor from a good 25 meters brought Wolfsburg the equalizer twelve minutes later.
In the final phase, the Wolfsburgers looked like the winners after Janssen’s goal, but Ioannidou (90. + 1) ensured the deserved extra time.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200704-99-673962 / 8
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