VfL Ladies defend cup crown

The She-Wolves defeated SC Freiburg 1-0 in the DFB Cup final on Wednesday.

The VfL Wolfsburg women's team have retained the DFB Cup title, winning the trophy for a fifth successive year to equal a record set by 1. FFC Frankfurt between 1999 and 2003. After a goalless first half at Cologne's RheinEnergieSTADION, which staged the final for a tenth time, Ewa Pajor broke the deadlock in the 55th minute against VfL's Allianz Women's Bundesliga rivals, sparking wild celebrations among the travelling fans when Germany President Frank-Walter Steinmeier handed over the silver trophy at full-time.

Evenly balanced

Freiburg, appearing in their first final, were excellent from the outset and created the first chance of the game in the 13th minute, only for Almuth Schult to deny Anja Hegenauer with a fine save. Schult was called into action again to keep out efforts from Sharon Beck (25') and Sandra Starke (29'), before the She-Wolves fashioned their best opening three minutes before half-time. Pernille Harder crossed for Pajor, whose overhead kick was tipped over the bar by Freiburg goalkeeper Lena Nuding, leaving the match finely poised at the interval after an evenly balanced first 45 minutes.

Pajor the heroine

VfL head coach Stephan Lerch rallied his troops during the break and his charges were by far the better side in the second period. The decisive goal arrived in the 55th minute when Harder's shot cannoned off the post and into the path of Pajor, who was left with a simple finish. The Green-Whites subsequently put their experience and individual quality to good use to manage the game till the final whistle and secure a fifth straight cup triumph.

Game plan executed

VfL head coach Stephan Lerch: "In the first half we didn't do what we'd set out to do. Freiburg played very well and kept putting us under pressure. We were very tense. Thankfully we were better in the second period. At half-time we discussed the need to keep playing at a high tempo. When we have lots of possession we can make the opposition chase the game – that was our plan and we executed it. We found the spaces well in the build-up to our goal. We were patient and ultimately deserved to score."

VfL Wolfsburg: Schult – Blässe, Fischer, Goeßling, Peter – Hansen, Gunnarsdóttir, Popp, Jakabfi (Wolter 72') – Harder, Pajor (Masar 90')

SC Freiburg: Nuding – Gwinn, van Lunteren, Kirchberger, Stegemann – Minge, Schöne (Knaak 63') – Hegenauer (Lotzen 72'), Beck, Starke – Bühl

Goals: 1-0 Pajor (55')

Attendance: 17,048

Yellow cards:

Referee: Susann Kunkel (Hamburg)

Wölfe TV: All highlights of the final



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