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Wolfsburg upset Lyon to win Champions League

Wolfsburg upset Lyon 1-0 in the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final. (Photo copyright Domenic Aquilina)

This one will be remembered for a very long time.

Against the odds-makers, first-time German champion and UEFA Women’s Champion’s League debutant Wolfsburg defeated Lyon 1-0 in Thursday’s final, preventing the French champions from earning the historic three-peat. Martina Müller scored a penalty kick 17 minutes from time to lift Wolfsburg to the historic upset victory.

According to Soccer America, Lyon had previously outscored opponents 215-6 in 34 official matches this season heading into the final, a clear sign of the team’s dominance. But Lyon were unable to muster too threatening of an attack on Thursday at Stamford Bridge.

Wolfsburg opened up the match with a good chance from captain Nadine Kessler, whose ambitious bicycle attempt from eight yards out flashed just wide of the far post.

Lyon’s Amandine Henry answered with a pair of great chances for the favored French team. Henry redirected a ball from Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick just wide of the far post in the 11th minute, a header that put a scare into Wolfsburg. Henry followed up with a long-range effort in the 27th minute, but Wolfsburg goalkeeper Alisa Vetterlein held the shot relatively easily. Lyon controlled 62 percent of the first half possession, but couldn’t find the lead at the half.

Eventually, Müller would give Wolfsburg the lead in the 73rd minute on a penalty after Laura Georges was whistled for a handball in the box.

“At the moment it feels like a dream,” Müller said. “It has gone quickly recently, winning one [trophy] after the other, but I think that tonight we can finally celebrate it all, and enjoy it, and digest it all in the next few days.”

Second half substitute Lina Magull almost scored a second for Wolfsburg, but her shot was tip-saved wide by Sarah Bouhaddi.

“Everyone saw us as favourites, but it was a trap and we fell into it,” Henry said of the loss. “I think we lacked efficiency in front of goal, and we were playing against a very strong Wolfsburg team. [We are] very disappointed. We really wanted to win this trophy, we felt like it was ours. We played the whole season thinking about playing in this final. As they say in football, dominating doesn’t mean winning. We were lacking a lot of efficiency in front of goal and we paid the price.”

Rapinoe was taken off at halftime and Camille Abily was replaced in the 67th minute.

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