There was the proverbial blood, sweat and tears on Sunday but in the end, it was not enough. Eintracht Frankfurt Women took VfL Wolfsburg to extra time in the final of the DFB Cup in Cologne but failed to convert their chances and finished up on the wrong end of a late, late winner. Ewa Pajor’s goal in the 118th minute for Wolfsburg came not long after their goalkeeper Almuth Schult had been sent off (96’). Despite losing captain Tanja Pawollek in the first half, the Eagles put up the bravest of fights yet came up just short.
Despair for Pawollek
Both teams were well set up from the start and full of commitment. Wolfsburg dominated possession but Frankfurt were solid and indeed serene in defence. In the 38th minute however, captain Tanja Pawollek was forced off with an injury and replaced by Alexandra Johannsdottir. Four minutes later, Lena Oberdorf hit the post in a lucky let-off for the Eagles.
Chances at either end in the second half
On the hour mark, Johansdottir had an excellent chance but was thwarted by Schult. Other opportunities came and went, and extra time was needed. Six minutes into the added 30, VfL goalkeeper Schult collided with Lara Prasnikar outside the box and was shown the red card.
Both teams kept at it tooth and nail right until the very end, drawing on their last reserves of energy. Prasnikar (115’) just failed to get a boot to a cross while Laura Freigang finally slipped her marker (116’), only for VfL substitute keeper Friederike Abt to save the day. And then with two minutes to go, a counter-attack saw Pajor keep her cool and slot home the only goal of the game to send Wolfsburg home with the trophy.
SGE coach Niko Arnautis: “Congratulations to VfL Wolfsburg on their cup win. It’s obviously a bitter pill for us. You have to say that Wolfsburg had more of the play, but we had a few really big opportunities and could have ended up winning the match. Overall, we put in a really strong performance out there and it was clear to see that the team was fully committed. We were playing a team that hasn’t lost a cup tie in seven years and we pushed them to the very brink of defeat. If you’re going to lose, then going down like that isn’t so bad. And we’re very determined to come back here to Cologne again and win the cup.”
Frohms - Leticia Santos, Kleinherne, Störzel (95’ Kirchberger), Küver (91’ Hechler) - Nüsken, Pawollek (40’ Johannsdottir) - Feiersinger, Freigang, Dunst (106’ Martinez) - Prasnikar.
Schult - Wedemeyer (49’ Blässe), Doorsoun, Janssen, Rauch - Engen, Oberdorf - Huth, Blomqvist (65’ Wolter), Rolfö (98’ Abt) - Pajor (120’ Jakabfi).
Mirka Derlin (Bad Schwartau)
0-1 Pajor (118’)
Arnautis, Kleinherne - Oberdorf, Jakabfi