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Potsdam restore German pride

With Sweden's Umeå IK having won two of the previous finals and 1. FFC Frankfurt one, 1. FFC Potsdam evened up the score for Germany by defeating Djurgården/Älvsjö.

Ariane Hingst lifts the UEFA Women's Cup
Ariane Hingst lifts the UEFA Women's Cup ©UEFA.com

It was time for Umeå IK and 1. FFC Frankfurt to move aside as their chief domestic rivals, Djurgården/Älvsjö and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, each progressed to the final of the UEFA Women's Cup in their debut season in the competition. With Sweden's Umeå having won two of the previous finals and Frankfurt one, Potsdam evened up the score for Germany by defeating Djurgården/Älvsjö 2-0 and 3-1 to lift the trophy with a 5-1 aggregate triumph.

With the status of the competition increasing and women's football participation rising rapidly through the continent, 43 teams entered to prompt a change in the format of the competition. Seven clubs were exempt from the first qualifying round, the holders Umeå and the six other national representatives with the best coefficients over the three seasons of competition, leaving 36 sides to battle for nine places in the next phase where they were split into four groups of four with two teams from each qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Alma KTZH caused the biggest shock of the first qualifying round by becoming the first team from UEFA's newest member state, Kazakhstan, to win a mini-tournament in any European competition, while Belarussian champions FC Bobruichanka did superbly to reach the last eight before being beaten 6-1 on aggregate by SK Trondheims-Ørn of Norway. Arsenal LFC and Potsdam also advanced, although the tie of the round saw Djurgården/Alvsjö triumph 3-1 against fellow Swedes Umeå to end their proud record of reaching every final at this level.

Djurgården/Alvsjö were pushed even harder by Arsenal in the last four, drawing 1-1 at home before Victoria Svensson scored the only goal of the return in north London. Potsdam never looked back after Conny Pohlers struck a hat-trick in the first leg of their tie with Trondheim to pave the way for a 7-1 aggregate success. The German international was also on target in both legs of the showpiece as Potsdam eased past their Swedish opponents to become the toast of the Bundesliga. Captain Ariane Hingst said: "We never even dreamed about this glory. This is simply the most thrilling feeling you can get at club level in our sport. I'll never forget this moment."