Thanks to a goal by Pauline Bremer shortly before the end of extra time, the VfL Wolfsburg footballers have reached the final of the Champions League.
The Bundesliga team won the second leg of the semi-finals at English top club WFC Arsenal after extra time 3-2 (2-2, 1-1) and will meet FC Barcelona after the 2-2 win in the first leg on June 3 in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. With goals from Jill Roord (41st minute), the outstanding Alexandra Popp (58th) and Bremer (119th), VfL can dream of winning their third premier class title after 2013 and 2014. "I'm overwhelmed," Roord said. "Arsenal could have won too. We're the lucky ones."
VfL behind early
In front of 60,063 fans, the English club record for a women's home game, VfL suffered their first setback after eleven minutes. Neither Wolfsburg defender Kathrin Hendrich nor goalkeeper Merle Frohms, who rushed out, were able to clear a long pass to Arsenal's top striker Stina Blackstenius. Blackstenius gratefully accepted the gift, rounded the VfL keeper and pushed the ball into the empty goal.
On the other side, the Lower Saxony had smaller half-chances, but used the first real opportunity: Popp put on Roord, who equalized with a shot from around 15 meters. In stoppage time, Sveindis Jonsdottir missed the chance to take the lead in Wolfsburg.
The strong VfL captain Popp made up for this. The striker headed in after a corner from Felicitas Rauch to make it 1:2. Svenja Huth could have made the preliminary decision, her shot just missed the post (70th). Arsenal equalized five minutes later with a header from Jennifer Beattie to make it 2-2.
In the extra time, VfL goalkeeper Frohms saved with a brilliant foot defense against Lina Hurtig (98th). Then the national goalkeeper was lucky: A cross from Katie McCabe landed on the Wolfsburg crossbar (116th). Then came the great performance of the substitute Bremen, who benefited from a blunder in Arsenal's defense and Jule Brand's fine preparatory work. "I thought we were going to penalties but luckily we won," said Roord.