It’s the 57th minute of this cup final when Freiburg’s Giovanna Hoffmann has the lead on her feet: she takes a soulful cross from Hazret Kayikci straight out of the air, but the ball isn’t placed enough and ends up in the arms of Wolfsburg’s keeper Merle happy A huge opportunity – missed! It becomes the crux of the game. Because, starting from Frohms, the Wolves managed to make it 2-1 through Rebecka Blomqvist in direct return. “In this situation we have to score the goal,” explains Freiburg coach Theresa Merk in a TV interview after the final whistle, “that’s totally bitter.” In the end, the Wolfsburg team even won 4-1 (1-1) and, with their tenth triumph, are the only record winners of the cup.
Everyone celebrates after the final whistle
However, anyone who looked around the Cologne Arena after the final whistle had to rub their eyes. There were no losers to be found. Wolfsburg trotted through the silver shower of confetti with the trophy. Freiburg’s captain Kayikci stood with her teammates on the wall in front of the Freiburg fan corner and was celebrated by the fans. They had courageously opposed the superiority of the Wolfsburg series winners. “The result doesn’t show how the game actually went,” emphasized Theresa Merk. The SC was behind early on. In an emergency, Lisa Karl steered the ball unluckily into her own goal (4th). Then came the appearance of one of Germany’s top talents: Janina Minge. The 23-year-old from Freiburg has already scored nine Bundesliga goals this season. One of her long-range shots was a candidate for “Goal of the Month”. In the cup final, she equalized for SC with a powerful header after a corner (42nd).
Loud record crowd in Cologne
The Freiburg women also came out of the dressing room cheekier and took the initiative with a few opportunities at the beginning of the second half. But 27 seconds after the biggest one – Hoffmann’s – the Wolfsburg women were celebrating the 2-1 lead. Alexandra Popp with a header and (84th) Dominique Janssen (89th, hand penalty after video evidence) produced the final result for the more ripped-off team on the pitch. “We’re just happy,” said VfL captain Popp in a hoarse voice. When asked about this, she raved about the atmosphere: “That’s what football is all about, that so many fans support us, support Freiburg and support women’s football. Because of the loud fans, you have to be even louder on the pitch – you can tell that from my voice now.”
44,880 spectators provided a record crowd in Cologne – with acoustically clear advantages for Freiburg. In view of this support, SC striker Minge quickly knew what was important after the lost game: “We want to absorb this atmosphere,” she said and was then celebrated by the SC supporters – like a winner.
Elsewhere on the lawn, VfL figurehead Popp hearted the eleven-kilo trophy. “I have a very strong bond with this cup,” she said after her twelfth triumph in the DFB Cup. The 32-year-old can therefore assess the popularity of women’s football over the past decade. “It’s only now that you can see what we’ve done with the European Championship,” she remarked, looking at the full ranks. Even before the game, DFB President Bernd Neuendorf had stated: “The winner is already certain. It’s women’s football in front of this great backdrop.”