Renard heads Lyon into UWCL final with Wolfsburg


Two-time UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) winners Wolfsburg will have another shot at European glory after they defeated Barcelona 1-0 in the 2020 semi-finals in San Sebastian on Tuesday.

In the 58th minute, ‘Barça’ failed to deal with Svenja Huth’s low cross and, after Ewa Pajor’s subsequent attempted bicycle kick was blocked, Fridolina Rolfo stabbed home from close range.

The first half played out fairly evenly, albeit with Barcelona enjoying more possession while Wolfsburg looked to counter with the speed of Pernille Harder, Pajor and Co. ‘Barça’ did, however, create the two clearest-cut chances with Asisat Oshoala and Caroline Graham Hansen both coming close to opening the scoring.

Although Wolfsburg’s opportunities were fewer and far between, Rolfo seized her moment to seal the German champions’ return to the continental decider and deny ‘Barça’ a chance of reaching a second consecutive final.

“It feels amazing, we’re really happy with the result and to have made it to the final. We were talking at half-time about the need to keep calm, keep the ball, not get too stressed and try to score a goal,” said Fridolina Rolfo

“It says a lot about the club that everybody wants to win and has a strong winning mentality, even if we didn’t play our best today. We were a little bit lucky but I’m so proud that we did it.”

Renard the hero in all-French semi

In Wednesday’s all-French showdown, holders Lyon survived a real scare by Paris Saint-Germain. Captain Wendie Renard’s second-half header was enough to see them through to the final and give them a chance of winning a remarkable fifth consecutive continental trophy.

In a match that saw two red cards given in the second half – both instances were for second yellow cards for PSG’s Grace Geyoro (66′) and Lyon’s Nikita Parris (75′) – there was not much separating the two sides with Lyon attempting ten shots to PSG’s nine.

It was a set-piece that ultimately proved to be the decider, with Renard peeling off to the back post and heading past the outstretched Christiane Endler.

Lyon and Wolfsburg will contest their fourth Champions League final, with the former winning the last two, one via penalties and the other after extra time, and Wolfsburg winning their first final meeting in the 2012/13 season.

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