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Frankfurt make history

The climax of the seventh UEFA Women's Cup was something of a defining moment of the competition.
Frankfurt make history
Frankfurt celebrate their success ©Getty Images

Frankfurt make history

The climax of the seventh UEFA Women's Cup was something of a defining moment of the competition.

The climax of the seventh UEFA Women's Cup was something of a defining moment of the competition.

Facing each other in the second leg of the final, level at 1-1, were the only previous multiple winners: 1. FFC Frankfurt and Umeå IK. Both sides were aiming to become the first three-time champions. Meeting for the third time in the final, the rivals played at the former Waldstadion, which in its pre-FIFA World Cup incarnation had staged the inaugural 2002 decider, won 2-0 by Frankfurt. And the home side emerged victorious again, a 3-2 triumph which came in front of a 27,640 crowd that doubled the previous competition record attendance.

An unprecedented entry of 45 teams began the competition, and two of the clubs who started in the first qualifying round were to reach the semi-finals – ambitious debutants Olympique Lyonnais and Italy's ASD CF Bardolino Verona. Both had proved their worth in the second qualifying round; Bardolino drawing 3-3 with holders Arsenal LFC and Lyon beating Norway's Kolbotn IL and finishing goalless against Brøndby IF.

Lyon continued in that fashion in the quarter-finals, as they followed a 0-0 Stade de Gerland first-leg draw against Arsenal with a 3-2 away win that ended the champions' run. Bardolino, meanwhile, beat Brøndby on penalties with both legs finishing as 1-0 away victories, the shoot-out occuring in Denmark. Frankfurt were given a tough time by Russia's WFC Rossiyanka, their 2-1 second-leg home win producing the tie's only goals, but Umeå IK stormed past first-time Belgian quarter-finalists FCL Rapide Wezemaal 10-0 on aggregate.

The semi-finals in spring were contrasting affairs. This time Umeå had it tough, drawing 1-1 at Lyon and 0-0 at home to creep through on away goals; by contrast Frankfurt defeated Bardolino 4-2 and 3-0. Umeå looked in a good position in the final when Marta struck 12 seconds into their home leg but Conny Pohlers equalised within five minutes and put Frankfurt ahead early in the second leg. She struck again in the 55th minute, but Lisa Dahlqvist pulled one back from the penalty spot. However, Petra Wimbersky's free-kick soon after sealed the win making Frida Östberg's late effort a consolation, meaning revenge for Frankfurt's 2004 final loss to Umeå.

Siegfried Dietrich, Frankfurt general manager, reflected: "This is maybe one of the most important moments of my time in management. It was more than just as fantastic game; 15 years ago we sometimes played in front of 500 spectators and people would have laughed at us if we talked about an attendance like today."

http://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/history/season=2008/index.html#frankfurt+make+history

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