The Women’s Season is Still Long – and Yet it is Almost Over
This was the opponent Bayern had lost to in the cup final in 2018 and the semi-finals in 2019. The team who has already managed to put clear daylight between themselves and their rivals at the top of the league yet again. The team that was undefeated in all competitions prior to coming to Munich.
The much anticipated final before the final of the two best German women’s football sides took place without Svenja Huth (Wolfsburg) and without the German internationals Melanie Leupolz, Giulia Gwinn and Nicole Rolser at Bayern due to illness. For Bayern this meant a loss of quality that one can hardly afford against such an opponent.
The game began with intensely fought duels and both sides attempting to take control. Bayern was very strong at first. They wanted to play fast and with courage.
Wolfsburg’s second shot on target resulted in the opening goal in the 21st minute: Goalkeeper Laura Benkarth came out too late, the chipped ball of the outstanding Ewa Pajor initially hit the post, before she headed in the rebound.
With the goal, the game changed: Wolfsburg now acted with much more control, but also more space, because Bayern let up on their intensity in working against the ball.
But just before half-time, Linda Dallmann suddenly pushed through on the left wing, played a low cross to the inside, where the again very strong Jovana Damnjanović managed to get to the ball first and score the leveller.
This was a goal from nowhere that proved a boost to Bayern’s women’s self-confidence. They started the second half more active and with greater courage, often created overloads near the ball and got control of the game. As a result, Bayern managed to create a number of dangerous situations in front of Wolfsburg’s goal, yet could not find a successful finish. For Wolfsburg, nothing really happened at this stage. For a time, they were more or less out of the game. In the 75th minute, Simone Laudehr missed a free header by mere centimeters. It was a great opportunity that Bayern would come to lament.
In the 85th minute, goalkeeper Benkarth managed to parry a dangerous shot from former Bayern player Fridolina Rolfö for a corner. However, she then miss hit the incoming corner which found it’s way into the middle. Wolfsburg seized their opportunity, won the second ball and managed to score a goal out of the turmoil.
In stoppage time, as Bayern’s entire team had pushed up high to force the equaliser, Sydney Lohmann put another header against the crossbar. By return of post, Wolfsburg was able to score an empty net goal for the final 1-3 score.
The chance to defeat the favored Wolfsburg was there. In the end, the cleverer team prevailed. It’s a bitter defeat for the Bayern women. At the club, those responsible have to ask themselves where they actually want to go with the women’s side. It cannot be their ambition languish behind Wolfsburg in the league and Pokal year after year, nor to miss out on the narrow circle of favorites in the Champions League.
Nevertheless, there is an immediate chance for revenge at the weekend as on Saturday, Wolfsburg will host to Bayern in the league.