VfL Wolfsburg have now taken a major step towards securing a spot in the final of the UEFA Women´s Champions League. On Sunday evening, in the semi-final first leg, the Lady-Wolves earned a 3-1 (2-1) victory away to Chelsea Ladies FC, putting themselves in a strong position for the return leg in Wolfsburg next Sunday. In front of a crowd of 3,329 spectators in Kingsmeadow Stadium, including English ladies national team coach Phil Neville, the hosts took an early lead through So-Yun Ji (2’). However, the Green-Whites hit back through Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir (17‘), an own-goal by Katie Chapman (42’) and Lara Dickenmann (66’) to turn the tie and hand VfL a thoroughly deserved win.
VfL coach Stephan Lerch: "We are very, very happy. With the early goal, it certainly wasn’t an ideal start for us and it took a while until we got back on track. The girls then showed fantastic moral and a very strong team-spirit, as they took ever more control of proceedings. We scored the goals at just the right times and the win is totally in order, although there were a couple of situations in the second-half when we were too passive. We are in a good position now for the return-leg, but we are well aware that we have only made the first step towards the final. We want to take the second and last step in the coming week. We know we will have to give our all and be highly concentrated over the distance, because Chelsea will throw everything they have at us. However, after a game that went the way this one did today and with such a performance, I am very optimistic that we will be celebrating claiming a final place at the end of the ninety minutes in Wolfsburg.
First to Jena, then come Chelsea
The Lady-Wolves have little time in which to enjoy their success. On Monday, the team return from London to Wolfsburg, where they immediately begin preparations for the rescheduled matchday 14 clash in the Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga game with USV Jena, which will be held on Wednesday, April 25th (kick-off 17:30 CET). Four days later, the Green-Whites will be back in European action, when on Sunday, April 29th (kick-off 17:30 CET), Chelsea Ladies FC will be guests in the AOK Stadion for the semi-final return leg in the UEFA Women´s Champions League.
Chelsea Ladies FC: Lindahl – Blundell, Bright, Mjelde, Ericsson – Flaherty (75' Rafferty) – Cuthbert (83' Davison), Ji, Chapman, Spence (68' Aluko) - Kirby
VfL Wolfsburg: Schult – Blässe (61' Kerschowski), Fischer, Goeßling, Maritz – Gunnarsdottir, Popp – Hansen (78' Jakabfi), Harder, Dickenmann - Pajor (88' Wullaert)
Goals: 1-0 Ji (2'), 1-1 Gunnarsdottir (17'), 1-2 Chapman (42'/o.g.), 1-3 Dickenmann (66')
Yellow cards: Spence, Flaherty, Bright, Lindahl / Fischer
Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI)
Attendance: 3,329 on Sunday evening in Kingsmeadow Stadium in London