Footballers Wolfsburg, with Dutch trio in base, to last four in CL

Footballers Wolfsburg, with Dutch trio in base, to last four in CL
Alexandra Popp

NOS Football

VfL Wolfsburg’s soccer players became the third club after Barcelona and Arsenal to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League. The two-time tournament winner, with Dutch trio Dominique Janssen, Lynn Wilms and Jill Roord in the starting lineup, played 1-1 against Paris Saint-Germain at home and that was enough after the 1-0 win a week ago in Paris.

Lieke Martens was missing from PSG last week, when Janssen became the matchwinner for the champions of Germany in Paris from 11 yards, but quickly asserted herself in Wolfsburg. She headed the ball back to Laurina Fazer, who failed to handle the chance more carefully. Then Kadidiatou Diani did better in the 11th minute, but she was just a foot offside.

The French team left no doubt about wanting to quickly repair the damage done at home, but it only got worse after losing the ball in midfield. Alexandra Popp intercepted Sandy Baltimore’s pass, got the ball back just outside the penalty area moments later and surprised with a shot that sailed over the 1.75-meter-long goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi into the goal: 1-0.

Kadidiatou Diani (left) trumps Dominique Janssen

Around the half-hour mark, Popp headed straight at Bouhaddi after a gliding dive, after which, at the other end, Diani, who proved stronger in the air than Janssen, did score with her head: 1-1. PSG’s most dangerous attacker, who had come on without the injured Jackie Groenen, suffered a shoulder injury before halftime that made further play impossible.

The second half began turbulently with chances back and forth. The highlight was the open chance from close range for Popp, who undoubtedly counted himself rich, but hit the post. Then Roord also turned up free for Bouhaddi, but she shot against the Frenchwoman.

Although Paris Saint-Germain tried everything, Wolfsburg was closest to a second goal several times. Popp saw a header cleared off the line by attacker Grace Geyoro, Lena Oberdorf headed against the French crossbar after a corner kick, while a cross from Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir landed on top.

Kayleigh Williams