This season’s final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League took place on Thursday evening in Kiev between title holders Olympique Lyon and German giants VfL Wolfsburg.
It was the third final between those two heavyweights, since the competition under this name and format began in 2010. The teams had split the previous two encounters between them, with the first having taken place in 2013.
This year, Wolfsburg came into the match dreaming of the treble, after having already won the two German domestic titles on the last two respective weekends.
But Lyon was the dominant team almost throughout the encounter. That was especially the case in the first forty-five minutes. The only thing Olympique lacked was the last bit of precision in front of goal. So, the score remained 0-0 at halftime.
After the break, Wolfsburg finally started to participate in the match more. Yet, it was their French opponents who should have taken the lead with slightly over twenty minutes to go in regulation. Amandine Henry’s header was over the goal line, when Wolfsburg player Noelle Maritz saved it.
There is no technology of any kind used at UEFA women’s events yet, so that the refereeing crew did not give the goal.
This way it remained scoreless and went to a highly eventful extra time. Early on in the added period, the Danish international Pernille Harder suddenly gave the Wolves the lead through a slightly deflected long-distance shot.
Soon after that, however, Alexandra Popp committed a bad foul and was sent off for a second yellow card.
What followed was a goal-fest by Olympique. 1-1 by Henry, 2-1 by Eugenie le Sommer, 3-1 by Ada Hegerberg and in the second half of extra time 4-1 by Camille Abily.
Several of those goals were made possible by runs the fast Dutch international Shanice van de Sanden who came in during extra time and tormented the decimated German side.
Lyon deservedly won the trophy, for the third time in a row and a record fifth time ever.