Frankfurt rise to the top once more
Saturday, July 1, 2006
1. FFC Frankfurt were the toast of both Germany and Europe after defeating the holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam to regain the UEFA Women's Cup.
Article top media content
Unsurprisingly as the final pitted together two teams from the same nation for the first time, the second leg of the 2005/06 showpiece drew a tournament-record crowd of 13,200 as 1. FFC Frankfurt defeated the holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam 3-2 to seal a 7-2 aggregate triumph. Renate Lingor (2), Sandra Albertz and Kerstin Garefrekes were on target in the first leg for Frankfurt, who conceded two at home to Conny Pohlers the following week before winning thanks to goals from Steffi Jones, a Lingor penalty and Birgit Prinz.
Ever gracious in defeat, Potsdam coach Bernd Schröder hailed "a great advert for women's football which showed what women's football is all about". With two German sides in the final, however, questions were asked whether any other nation could compete with the Bundesliga clubs. Lingor was not convinced, saying: "We have some very professional coaches now and the level of performance has been upped considerably in the past years but we must not forget that two years ago it was two Swedish teams in the final, so we are certainly not without peers."
Indeed, after the first legs of the semi-finals, it seemed that Montpellier HSC and Djurgården/Älvsjö were set to play off for the trophy having gained first-leg wins in Germany against Frankfurt and Potsdam respectively. But in the returns, Montpellier fell to a 3-2 defeat and exited on away goals, while the Swedes had no answer as Potsdam turned on the style to win 5-2 in Solna. To get as close as they did was an impressive achievement for Montpellier, who might have become the first team from outside Germany and Scandinavia to reach the final had they not twice hit the woodwork and missed a penalty. Instead Frankfurt went on to claim a first crown since the inaugural final in 2002 and move the Bundesliga on to three tournament wins to the Damallsvenkan's two.