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Potsdam hold nerve to claim European crown

Olympique Lyonnais 0-0 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (aet, Potsdam win 7-6 on pens)
Anna Felicitas Sarholz saved two spot kicks as Potsdam won the first UEFA Women's Champions League final after a shoot-out success.

UEFA Women's Champions League final 2010 ©AFP

Teenage goalkeeper Anna Felicitas Sarholz proved the hero as 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam defeated Olympique Lyonnais 7-6 on penalties to win the UEFA Women's Champions League after the inaugural final had finished 0-0 at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in Getafe.

The 17-year-old saved three spot-kicks in the semi-final shoot-out victory against FCR 2001 Duisburg and followed it up with two more, then converting one herself before Lyon's Élodie Thomis fired the 18th penalty against the crossbar. The victory ensured a second European crown for Potsdam, the 2005 UEFA Women's Cup winners, and left Lyon still searching for a first such crown.

Lyon's vow that they would not be overawed rang true as they fashioned the clearest opportunities of a tight first half. With 15 minutes played, and a defender from either side already in the book, Louisa Nécib stated Les Fenottes' intent with a superb free-kick from distance which thumped against the bar.

Sarholz was soon scrambling across goal again, first to the left as Élodie Thomis shot first time; then to the right to keep out a long-range daisy-cutter from Amandine Henry. Potsdam had to wait 27 minutes for a glimpse of goal, Fatmire Bajramaj pouncing on a Wendie Renard slip to play in Anja Mittag, although Lyon goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi just won the race to the ball.

Bajramaj was a constant threat, typified by a mazy run just short of the hour which left two defenders bamboozled and Tabea Kemme free on goal. The left-back, seven metres out, caught it perfectly but Bouhaddi made a brilliant reflex save; Kemme fired the rebound high and wide as defenders closed in.

Now Potsdam were pressing, and Nadine Kessler had time to compose herself rather than shooting over after Mittag dummied a Bajramaj centre. Mittag – one of three survivors starting in Getafe from the 2005 team – went closer still six minutes from time when curling a shot against the base of the post with just Bouhaddi to beat.

Cue extra time and more Bouhaddi heroics. First the keeper combined with Laura Georges to deny Viola Odebrecht and Mittag, then she somehow kept out a stinging shot from substitute Isabell Kerschowski. The 23-year-old also denied Jennifer Zietz and Mittag in the shoot-out but, after Lyon had wasted two subsequent chances to win it, Potsdam did just that.