Wolfsburg end glittering year with German crown
воскресенье, 8 июня 2014 г.
Alexandra Popp's late goal secured VfL Wolfsburg a 2-1 win against 1. FFC Frankfurt to lift the European champions above their rivals on the last day of the season.
VfL Wolfsburg have clinched the Frauen-Bundesliga title for the second consecutive season after defeating rivals 1. FFC Frankfurt 2-1 in a dramatic final match of the campaign.
Leading by a point ahead of the encounter, seven-time champions Frankfurt needed just a point to reclaim the crown, but they fell behind to a Verena Faisst strike on 16 minutes. Kozue Ando put the visitors back in the driving seat when she equalised with eight minutes remaining, yet there was to be a further twist in the tail – with Alexandra Popp heading in for the 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League winners a minute from time.
German Cup champions Frankfurt began the encounter on top, but they were left reeling when Faisst handed the title advantage to the hosts with just over a quarter of an hour gone. Fatmire Alushi almost conjured a quick response four minutes later, but she was unable to find the target from close range, before Martina Müller, Nilla Fischer and Nadine Kessler all missed at the other end.
Further chances went begging for Melanie Behringer of Frankfurt and Kessler before the half-time interval, after which Frankfurt came out in determined mood. Indeed, Kessler had to clear the ball off the goal line to prevent Célia Šašić levelling the scores, as Wolfsburg focused on keeping things steady at the back.
Frankfurt appeared short of ideas, meanwhile, but they continued to threaten sporadically, with a Kerstin Garefrekes header drawing a save from Almuth Schult with a quarter of an hour remaining. Ando finally struck for the visitors to leave Frankfurt in sight of their first title since 2007/08, yet it was Popp who ultimately had the final word – though both teams will compete in the UEFA Women's Champions League next term, Wolfsburg aiming to match FFC's record tally of three wins.
"I am so proud of my team," said Popp. "It's incredible what we've achieved. We will definitely party all night." Fellow scorer Faisst – who, like Popp, also registered in last month's UEFA Women's Champions League final against Tyresö FF – added: "I still can't believe it. There were so many fans here and we were almost down and out after Frankfurt's goal, but we fought back. It was special."
As for Wolfsburg coach Ralf Kellermann, he was delighted with his team's performance: "My team never give up – that is what they are known for. After Frankfurt scored, they kept fighting and we were able to score a great goal through Alex Popp."