Foot Feminin – Lyon win the Cup, Paris look to Berlin
It was a big weekend in women’s football, as Lyon faced Montpellier in the final of the Coupe de France, and PSG travelled to Wolfsburg for the first leg of their WCL semi-final.
Women’s Champions League
PSG ran out 2-0 winners in the first leg against a Wolfsburg team with some key absences in midfield (Kessler, Goessling) and whose defence did not live up to its usual high standards. Sabrina Delannoy scored from the spot after 12 minutes, then Shirley Cruz Trana – impressive throughout – made it two before the half-hour mark, and it was the PSG defence that held strong to take a useful lead into the second leg.
They will presumably be missing Kheira Hamraoui who was sent off late on, after she had come on as a substitute, ironically to shut up shop and hold onto the lead as she and Linda Bresonik replaced attackers Kosovare Asllani and Marie-Laure Delie. However, they should have the strength in depth to deal with that absence, and it is notable also that Laura Georges and Fatmire Alushi were unused substitutes. Things are looking very positive for PSG to reach the final, providing they can maintain the same level of concentration and defensive solidity.
The second leg will be played at Charlety at 17.00 BST / 18.00 CEST this Sunday, 26 April.
In the other game, as predicted, Frankfurt threw an absolute whirlwind at Brondby (19 shots, 13 on target, against 2, none on target) who simply couldn’t do much about it, despite Abel in goal making seven saves. Frankfurt won 7-0, Celia Sasic scoring four, the other goals coming from OG, Marozsan and Laudehr. The second leg will be midday on Saturday.
Coupe de France
Lyon took their seventh Coupe de France title with a 2-1 win over Montpellier on Saturday evening. Solene Durand did well in the Montpellier goal to keep out three good chances early on, all involving OL’s returning number 10 Louisa Necib, including two of her characteristic freekicks, one direct on goal, one putting Wendie Renard in for a header. Against the run of play, Sofia Jakobsson opened the scoring for Montpellier with an awesome strike from the left of the area into the roof of the net from a tight angle, having already had a good chance but shooting wide after a solo run up the right.
In the second half, OL started to dominate. Necib was withdrawn for Elodie Thomis, and it was she who put in the cross for Ada Hegerberg to head home shortly after the restart. This move was repeated on 77 minutes: the header was missed, but Lara Dickenmann slashed the ball back into the area and Lotta Schelin was there to finish from close-range in the chaos for the winner.
Overall, it was a good game, and Montpellier put in a good account of themselves (OL won both the league encounters by a four-goal margin), but the greater quality of the champions told.
OL had already been confirmed as Division 1 champions, for the ninth consecutive year, after beating Rodez 6-0 to mark up 20 wins out of 20. They are six points clear of PSG in the league table with two games to play, and given the points system (1 for turning up), even if they somehow manage to lose both games (which they won’t), they are 53 ahead on goal difference. So, another double for OL, but changes are afoot.
Interesting news for after the WWC, as Elise Bussaglia and Lara Dickenmann have both signed for Wolfsburg from OL. Bussaglia has played for all four of the traditional ‘big four’ in France (Juvisy, Montpellier, PSG and Lyon), and says that “joining VFL will be a new challenge for me”. Dickenmann has been at OL since 2009, and is likely to be a key player for Switzerland in Canada this summer. Claire Lavogez, the best player at the U20 World Cup, will be moving from Montpellier to Lyon as she steps up a level, but OL will still need to recruit to replace their two departing stars.