VfL Wolfsburg have won the DFB Women’s Cup (DFB-Pokal der Frauen) final on penalties following an intense match against SGS Essen at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne on Saturday afternoon.
Defending champions Wolfsburg were the runaway favourites to win the title, but Essen proved to be a serious contender with a spirited performance in a final summit behind closed doors.
Essen took an early lead eleven seconds after kick off, when Germany international Lea Schüller chipped the ball over onrushing Wolfsburg goalkeeper Friederike Abt and headed the ball into the empty net. Schüller’s goal is a historic one as it happens to be the fastest goal in tournament history.
Wolfsburg had to cope with the early setback and managed to score the equaliser in the 11th minute. Anna Blässe entered the box from the right wing and delivered a perfectly timed pass to Pernille Harder. The Denmark star put the ball into the back of the net with a great right-footed shot.
But Essen didn’t surrender and stunned the Women’s football powerhouse with another goal seven minutes after the equaliser. A corner found Marina Hegering in the box and the SGS captain headed the ball into the top corner to give the underdogs once again the lead.
The entertaining final went into the half-time break with a 2-1 lead for SGS Essen.
Essen came close to further increase their lead in the 59th minute, but Jana Feldkamp’s attempt just hit the post.
Wolfsburg had their difficulties against a well-organised and passionate opponent, but somehow managed to equalise once again. Anna Blässe fired a 25-metres-shot just to see her attempt beat Essen goalkeeper Stina Johannes.
The game progressed and it looked like the closely contested final would need an extra time to find a winner.
But Wolfsburg scored the virtual winner in the 86th minute when Dominique Janssen headed home a corner kick to the delight of the VfL players and officials.
With seconds left on the clock, Essen’s substitute Irini Ioannidou hammered a free kick into the back of the net to hand the match another dramatic twist.
The final went into extra time and one had to feel sorry that such an entertaining match had to take place behind closed doors.
Both sides looked tired in extra time and a goal would have been the lucky punch. Wolfsburg was the side which came close to score the winner, but Claudia Neto’s shot was denied by the post in the 113th minute.
But such a thrilling final needed a intense climax in form of a penalty shoot-out. Essen missed two spot kicks, while Pernille Harder converted her spot kick to secure VfL Wolfsburg the 2019-20 DFB Women’s Cup title.
DFB-Pokal der Frauen – Final
VfL Wolfsburg 3-3, 7-5 SGS Essen (on penalties)
0-1 Lea Schüller (1′)
1-1 Pernille Harder (11′)
1-2 Marina Hegering (18′)
2-2 Anna Blässe (70′)
3-2 Dominique Janssen (86′)
3-3 Irini Ioannidou (90’+1′)
4-3 Dominique Janssen
4-4 Lea Schüller
5-4 Claudia Neto
5-5 Lena Oberdorf
5-5 Alexandra Popp
5-5 Irini Ioannidou
6-5 Lena Goessling
6-5 Nina Brüggemann
7-5 Pernille Harder
Abt – Blässe, Doorsoun, Goessling , Bloodworth – Huth (89′ Wolter), Engen (97′ Engen), Popp, Rolfö – Pajor, Harder
Lindahl, Maritz, Rauch, Wedemeyer, Jakabfi
Johannes – Klasen, Brüggemann, Hegering, Ostermeier – Feldkamp, Senss, Knaak (78′ Ioannidou), Oberdorf, Anyomi (64″ Petzelberger) – Schüller
Sindermann, Grutkamp, Lange, Wilde, Nesse