It just wasn’t to be: On Thursday evening, the VfL women suffered a 1-4 (0-0, 0-0) defeat to Olympique Lyon in the Champions League final and thus missed out on claiming their third title of the season. The Green-Whites battled determinedly throughout and even took the lead through Pernille Harder in extra-time (93'). However, following the dismissal of Alexandra Popp for a second booking, VfL coach Stephan Lerch’s side were unable to withstand the attacking determination of Lyon, who turned the tie within five minutes through goals from Amandine Henry (98’), Eugenie Le Sommer (99’) and Ada Hegerberg (102'). Camille Abily then added a fourth for the French side in the closing phase (116'), to ultimately shatter the Green-White’s treble dreams.
Popp from the outset
Compared to the side that began in the DFB-Cup final against FC Bayern Munich, VfL head-coach Lerch opted to make one change, with Claudia Neto, who is not eligible to play in the Champions League, being replaced by Alexandra Popp – who had recovered from a muscle sinew tear and was declared fit in time for the final in Kiev.
First joy, then dejection
At the end of ninety tense, although goal-less, minutes, the game was forced into extra-time. With three minutes of the additional thirty played, Harder rewarded the Lady-Wolves for their determined efforts: Following a solo burst through the midfield, the number 22 unleashed a shot, which was deflected into the bottom left corner. Shortly afterwards though, Popp saw a second yellow card and was duly dismissed. With the numerical advantage, the French side increased the pressure and completely turned the tie on its head within the space of five minutes: First Henry levelled from a tight angle (98'), before Le Sommer benefitted from a quick break down the right through Shanice Van den Sanden to put Lyon in front (99'). The Lady-Wolves fate was then sealed by a Hegerberg strike (103'). In the closing phase, the Green-Whites threw everything into attack and thus left space at the back, which Lyon exposed for Abily to make the final-score 1-4 (116').
VfL Wolfsburg: Schult – Blässe, Fischer, Goeßling, Maritz – Gunnarsdottir (57. Wedemeyer), Popp – Hansen (46. Wullaert), Harder, Dickenmann (89. Kerschowski) – Pajor
Olympique Lyon: Bouhaddi – Bronze, M`Bock Bathy, Renard, Bacha (64. Cascarino) – Kumagai (95. Van de Sanden), Henry – Marozsan, Majri – Hegerberg, Le Sommer (114. Abily)
Yellow cards: Maritz / Bacha, Cascarino
Second yellow card: Popp (95')
Goals: 1-0 Harder (93'), 1-1 Henry (98'), 1-2 Le Sommer (99'), 1-3 Hegerberg (102'), 1-4 Abily (116')
Attendance: 14,237 / Walerij-Lobanowskyj-Stadion
Referee: Jana Adamkova (Czechia)