Familiarity Stifles Women’s Final, but Treble-winning Lyon Won’t Care

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 2, 2017 01:00

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Familiarity Stifles Women’s Final, but Treble-winning Lyon Won’t Care

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By Satish Sekar at Cardiff City Stadium © Satish Sekar (June 1st)

Drama

After a tepid first half the match opened up in the second half, but not even extra time could produce a goal, let alone a winner. Lyon retained their title on penalties, and completed an historic treble – Juventus could match of them on Saturday. Katarzyna Kiedrzynek out-though Eugénie le Sommer to save smartly to her right. She celebrated her triumph, but the advantage was immediately handed back as Laura Georges poor penalty was saved by Sarah Bouhaddi. The trophy would be decided by the keepers.

http://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/index.html

Kiedrzynek missed badly to Bouhaddi’s right and crumpled in a heap. She rose to face Bouhaddi’s but could not keep it out. Olympique Lyonnais had retained it again, vindicating the commitment that Lyon’s owner Jean-Michel Aulas has shown over many years. World Cup winner Alex Morgan paid tribute to Aulas for that commitment to women’s football and for gathering the best players in the world at the club. Lyon match FFC Frankfurt’s record of four European titles and become the only team to retain it twice.

Stalemate

Defending champions Olympique Lyonnais narrowly beat Manchester City, boasting the talents of repeating World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-final – the only major title to elude the women’s Citizens. It was a far more entertaining match than the final. Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain had played too often recently. They were far too familiar with each other. PSG’s Verónica Boquete agreed and revealed that the team rallied around Katarzyna, pointing out that she always scored penalties and had the courage to take one – the difference in the end was just one penalty. In the first half the teams nullified each other in a dreadful first half.

The showpiece event failed to show-case women’s football. The last time Lyon played a final in Britain they lost a narrow encounter against Wolfsburg 1-0 in 2013. Two years earlier they were here again, beating defending champions Turbine Potsdam 2-0 at Craven Cottage. French midfielder Camille Abily gave a Player of the match performance. Tonight she played a defensive role – a real pity as like the match, her attacking talent was stifled.

http://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/index.html

The first half was summed up by its close. PSG carved an opening through Canadian Ashley Lawrence on the left flank. Her cross for Cristiana cried out for a finish to match the move. Instead the Brasilian attacker blasted her shot high, wide and extremely ugly. Lyon upped the ante after the break. Ada Hederberg’s close range flick just beat the wrong side of the post. She soon had another opportunity but shot tamely straight at Polish keeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek. She would later come off second best in a collision with her own defender, Grace Geyoro. That required three minutes on-pitch treatment.

PSG came into the match and really ought to have taken the lead just past the hour. Only Marie-Laure Delie knows how she contrived to miss a gilt edged opportunity after being put through on the left of the area with just Sarah Bouhaddi to beat. She shot across the keeper but wide of the far post.

http://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/index.html

Extra

After 6 minutes of added time extra time was needed. The first period was dominated by Lyon. The highlights being a neat turn and shot by Player of the Match Dzsenifer Marozsán from the right flank that curled just over Kiedrzynak’s goal and a robust challenge by substitute Perle Morroni after 7 minutes that left Élodie Thomis in a heap wondering why referee Bibiana Steinhaus had not given a penalty.

Thomis suffered the ignominy of being substituted herself early in the second period. Claire Lavogez replaced her.
After the change in format in 2009 from two-legged finals tonight’s crowd of 22433 is second only to the whopping 50000 plus crowd in München in 2012.

http://www.uefa.com/womenschampionsleague/index.html

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar June 2, 2017 01:00