Massive celebrations – the women’s team from VfL Wolfsburg secured their fourth German championship title, following wins in 2013, 2014 and 2017. With a 2-0 (0-0) win over SGS Essen, the Lady-Wolves can no longer be caught in the table with two games to go. Both VfL goals were scored by Ella Masar (55'/ 59'), before she was dismissed in the second-half for a second booking (76'). Next Saturday, May 19th, the Green-Whites can claim their next title in the DFB-Cup final in Cologne’s RheinEnergieSTADION. The last remaining hurdle for the Lady-Wolves to take is that of FC Bayern Munich (kick-off 15:00 CEST).
Three changes in the starting eleven
Compared to the side that began the 2-0 win over SC Freiburg four days ago, VfL head-coach Stephan Lerch opted to make three changes. Lara Dickenmann, Joelle Wedemeyer and Masar began in place of Sara Gunnarsdottir, Noelle Maritz and Ewa Pajor. Maritz and Pajor took places on the bench. Gunnarsdottir was rested, as Lerch explained would be the case at the pre-match press conference.
Arduous opening phase
During the first-half, the crowd of 2,218 were not exactly treated to a festival of football. The Lady-Wolves were eager when in possession, but were unable to create openings against a determined Essen side. Indeed SGS looked the more dangerous of the two sides initially, but were equally unable to create openings in front of goal – in spite of making positive headway forwards on the break. In the final few minutes before the break, the Lady-Wolves shook off the shackles – finding space and openings. Firstly Claudia Neto fired over from 25 meters out (36'), then Caroline Hansen broke into the area on the right, but fired her powerful shot wide of the left post (41').
Masar puts the Green-Whites in the driving seat
In the second period, the Green-Whites quickly made it clear that they were determined to secure the title today. And two almost identical goals from Masar gave the Lady-Wolves a comfortable cushion. First Pernille Harder broke on the left and squared for the number 30 to slot home (55'): Then Tessa Wullaert was sent on her way down the left and again found Masar in the centre, to make it 2-0 (59'). The striker was then in the thick of the action once again – but this time negatively. The goal-getter saw a second yellow card for kicking the ball away, having previously been booked for a tactical foul in midfield (76'). The Green-Whites were thus forced to play the final 20 minutes with ten players, but during that period, VfL keeper Almuth Schult was forced to make just one save to deny the advancing Sarah Freutel (82'). As the final whistle blew, the VfL ladies had the first of three possible titles in the 2017/2018 season and duly celebrated enthusiastically with the fans.
VfL Wolfsburg: Schult – Blässe, Fischer, Wedemeyer, Dickenmann – Neto (83' Baunach), Goeßling – Hansen (69' Jakabfi), Harder (74' Kerschowski), Wullaert – Masar
SGS Essen: Weiß – Klasen, Brüggemann (71' Freutel), Doorsoun, Ioannidou – Hegering – Wilde, Knaak (83' Ostermeier), Dallmann, Feldkamp (71' Anyomi) – Schüller
Yellow cards: Masar / Dallmann
Red card: Masar (76')
Goals: 1-0 Masar (55') 2-0 Masar (59')
Attendance: 2,218 on Sunday afternoon in the AOK Stadion
Referee: Christine Weigelt (Leipzig)