Wolfsburg sew up final berth despite defeat

FFC Frankfurt 1-0 Wolfsburg (agg: 1-4) Marith Priessen headed in for the holders, but it was not enough to deny two-time winners Wolfsburg a place in the final after their 4-0 first-leg triumph.

Wolfsburg have sealed their place in the final on 26 May
Wolfsburg have sealed their place in the final on 26 May ©Getty Images
  • Two-time winners Wolfsburg reach final despite a 1-0 loss
  • Holders Frankfurt reclaim pride after 4-0 defeat last weekend
  • Marith Priessen heads in late winner for the hosts
  • Final on 26 May in Reggio Emilia; Lyon lead Paris 7-0 ahead of Monday's semi-final decider

Wolfsburg have successfully sealed their place in the UEFA Women's Champions League final despite a 1-0 loss in the second leg of their semi-final with holders FFC Frankfurt.

Leading 4-0 after the first instalment last Sunday, the two-time winners secured their third final appearance in a tight affair in front of 3,720 spectators. They created the first chance too, Élise Bussaglia firing over from 20 metres.

Frankfurt were missing injured midfielder Simone Laudehr – ruled out after suffering a foot problem during training – but they soon set about trying to break the deadlock, with Mandy Islacker having an attempt saved. Compact in defence, Wolfsburg resisted the pressure, and responded via Ramona Bachmann, whose effort was blocked by Sophie Schmidt ahead of the break.

The hosts brought on Yuki Ogimi and Jackie Groenen as they sought to rescue their bid after the restart, but a long-range Dzsenifer Marozsán shot was all they had to show for their efforts until Marith Priessen headed in a Marozsán corner in the final minute. That ended Wolfsburg's run of 16 unbeaten games away from home in Europe – but it was not enough to deny Ralf Kellermann's side a spot in the final.

Reaction

Frankfurt edged the second leg 1-0
Frankfurt edged the second leg 1-0©Sportsfile

Lena Goessling, Wolfsburg midfielder
Our goal was to not concede early and we did what it took to go through to the final. We had a great first leg, but it can be dangerous to go into the game thinking you have a 4-0 advantage. It was important to get this out of our heads. We sat together and talked about that before the match. We played a simple game, almost like kick-and-rush. Now it looks like we could be playing the final against Lyon. We know them from the 2013 final and we've already proved we can beat them in a one-off game.

Alex Popp, Wolfsburg forward
It's a great success for the team and club to have reached another Champions League final, though we didn't plan to lose today. But in the end it was enough to reach another final. We expected Frankfurt to push harder and thought we could get behind their defence more. The wind was also a problem for us today and that took us a bit out of the game and made it more complicated. It was annoying that we conceded a late goal as neither team created a lot of chances.

Saskia Bartusiak, Frankfurt defender
We wanted to give something back to our fans after the heavy defeat in the first leg. We played much better today, but of course it's difficult against a team like Wolfsburg to overcome a four-goal deficit. Unfortunately we didn't score early, though we tried everything and believed in ourselves. Today it was possible to beat them. We don't know how it'll be in the future, but the win was important for the remaining league games.

Marith Priessen, Frankfurt defender
We lost 4-1 on aggregate and I still don't know what went wrong in the first leg. We threw it away there and it was an embarrassing performance. If we'd scored early there might have been a chance for us, but at least we proved we can do better than we did last week – which was the worst performance since I joined Frankfurt.

  • Also today, Bayern München, who went out of Europe in the last 32 to Twente, retained the German title with a 5-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen. Wolfsburg lead Frankfurt by four points in the race for the second European slot with three games to go; if the Wolves finish third but win the final in Reggio Emilia, Germany will have three teams in the 2016/17 UEFA Women Champions League, as they did this season when Frankfurt claimed the continental title but finished outside the top two in the Bundesliga.
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