Potsdam pip Duisburg to final on penalties

1. FFC Turbine Potsdam 1-0 FCR 2001 Duisburg
(agg: 1-1, Potsdam win 3-1 on pens)
Anna Felicitas Sarholz saved three spot kicks to send Potsdam into the final.

Teenage goalkeeper Anna Felicitas Sarholz was the hero for 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam as they pipped German rivals FCR 2001 Duisburg to the UEFA Women's Champions League final on penalties.

European titleholders Duisburg led 1-0 after the first leg but a header from Potsdam substitute Tabea Kemme just past the hour levelled the tie. There were no more goals and 17-year-old Sarholz denied Inka Grings, Linda Bresonik and Irini Ioannidou in the shoot-out to take Potsdam into the final against Olympique Lyonnais or Umeå IK in Getafe on 20 May.

Duisburg coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg sprung a tactical surprise by deploying Kozue Ando as a central striker and moving Grings to right wing. Potsdam had their usual 3-4-3 formation and their striker Anja Mittag had the first chance, forcing Ursula Holl into a save from distance following Nadine Kessler's fine pass.

Both sides, familiar with each other after three tight encounters in recent weeks, knew conceding would be costly and there were few first-half chances. Kessler came closest but could not connect fully from five metres out while Duisburg showed some glimpses of their threat when Simone Laudehr's shot from 12 metres was stopped by Sarholz and the midfielder was also not far away from distance a few minutes later.

Potsdam knew they had to push after the break and Yuki Nagasato was brought on to boost their attack. The pressure was increased and Mittag came close before Holl produced an excellent save to keep out a stinging Jennifer Zietz effort. Seconds later, though, Holl could do nothing when within two minutes of her introduction, Kemme headed in Fatmire Bajramaj's corner.

The home team now looked for a winner but despite another good shot from Mittag, the game moved towards a penalty shoot-out, only the third in the history of UEFA women's club competition. Sarholz now came into her own, denying Duisburg's first two efforts from Grings and Bresonik. Bajramaj was unsuccessful in what was potentially Potsdam's winning penalty, but Sarholz saved again from Ioannidou to give Turbine hope of adding to their 2004/05 UEFA Women's Cup triumph and keeping the European title in Germany.

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