There was a dispiriting feeling of déjà vu among the FCR 2001 Duisburg players after they exited the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-finals following Sunday's 1-0 second-leg loss to 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, the holders having inflicted similar misery at the same stage of the competition last season.
The tie was poised at 2-2 following the opening instalment, but Yuki Nagasato's 40th-minute effort propelled hosts Potsdam into the London final at Craven Cottage on 26 May, when they will face Olympique Lyonnais. "It's like the movie Groundhog Day," said Duisburg caretaker coach Marco Ketelaer, who replaced Martina Voss-Tecklenburg following damaging defeats in February – including another 1-0 defeat by Potsdam in the Frauen-Bundesliga.
"Our disappointment is huge," continued Ketelaer. "Potsdam's players were more aggressive and busier, and that made the difference in this match. We lacked the special winning spirit you need in a game like this; we didn't have that killer instinct and my players just didn't show the form you need.
"We wanted to play with the ball too much, but that's not enough – even if we had two chances in the opening stages of the game and could have taken the lead. We had to score because of the first-leg result but we didn't succeed and I don't really have an explanation for that."
Having only finished third in their domestic championship, the 2008/09 UEFA Women's Cup winners know they will not be returning to the continental stage next term. "We have to digest this loss and analyse what went wrong," said Ketelaer. "Then we'll have to see how we continue from there."
Leading scorer in the competition with 13 goals, Inka Grings was similarly distraught. "We deserved to lose this game as you could see that Potsdam wanted to win more than us," she said. "I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that Potsdam go on to win the Champions League again now."
Alexandra Popp, top scorer at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, added: "We didn't play the way we can play. Our passing game was not at its best and our hunger to win the game and to turn things around was missing. It was a deserved Potsdam win."
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