DFB Cup Final: Frankfurt takes revenge on Potsdam

By Olaf Goldbecker

The 31st DFB Cup final was awaited with huge excitement since the champion Turbine Potsdam was meeting runners up 1.FFC Frankfurt in a clash of the best German teams of the season. Frankfurt started the final having won seven titles, while Potsdam won the trophy three times (each time against Frankfurt). Frankfurt got a goal from Kerstin Garefrekes in the 48th minute, which snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to the the game-winner in the 2-1 win.

The 2011 Cup Final took place in Cologne. It was the second time Cologne hosted the finals. Prior to Cologne, it took place in the big Olympic Stadium in Berlin as pregame of the men’s final, but only about 5,000 people showed up in the 70,000 seat stadium to watch the women’s game. In 2010, the Cup Final was moved to Cologne’s Rhein Energie Arena and 26,282 (a record for a national women’s club game in Germany, saw FCR Duisburg defeat FF USV Jena, 1-0). This year the attendance went down to 20,312 (the reason for the decline can surely be seen in the fact that the game last year took place in May under warmer weather conditions).

The game started slow with Frankfurt being the slightly better team. After 15 minutes, Ali Krieger sent in a cross from the right wing, which landed at Turbine defender Inka Wesely, who missed the ball due to a technical mistake and failed to clear. Svenja Huth stood behind her and said, “thanks.”

Potsdam had its first chance five minutes after. Lira Bajramaj received the ball at the box line, and made her way past Gina Lewandowski, but the angle got too close to put the pall behind Nadine Angerer. Another five minutes later, Birgit Prinz had a giant chance to increase the lead for Frankfurt when Viola Odebrecht sent a pass the wrong way. Prinz curved around goalie Anna-Felicitas Sarholz, but her shot on the empty net was blocked by Josephine Henning. Odebrecht had the next opportunity on the right side when her shot was deflected by Ariane Hingst.

In the final 10 minutes before the break, the game’s pace picked up. First, Kerstin Garefrekes missed Potsdam’s goal with a header. Two minutes later, Angerer fisted the ball to the air, Bajramaj won the header against Lewandowski, and Angerer then was back in place to catch the ball. Next in line was Babett Peter whose shot from good position went wide. Then Potsdam rewarded themselves. Melanie Behringer lost the ball, Anja Mittag reacted quickly and sent the ball to Yuki Nagasato on the right wing, who made it past left back Maike Weber and scored into the wide corner to tie the game just before halftime. Then, Frankfurt woke up again. In the stoppage time first Dszenifer Marozsan had the chance but failed against Sarholz. Then Gina Lewandowski won the header after a free kick and hit it against the crossbar.

After the break, Frankfurt quickly regained the lead. Birgit Prinz crossed in from the left side and Garefrekes won the one-on-one situation to put the ball over the line. Potsdam did not give up. Ten minutes after the break, Bajramaj was sent and got the ball past Angerer, but she tipped it too far to reach the ball again. Just one minute later, Potsdam sent in a corner kick, which just went inches wide from Garefrekes’ back.

Then Potsdam had bad luck with the referee. Anja Mittag sent in a free kick from the left side, Angerer didn’t catch it, and the ball went in, but the referee did not count the goal. It was remarkable after the game when Angerer said she couldn’t have complained if the referee had counted the goal, while Babett Peter, who was in the air duel against her, said that it was all right to whistle. Most agreed that the goal should have counted.

After the non-goal, the game slowed down again. It took until the 72nd minute when Conny Pohlers had the chance to score for Frankfurt after Josephine Henning failed to clear the ball. Potsdam’s defense occasionally had these technical problems today.  With seven minutes left on the clock, Frankfurt had a huge opportunity to decide the game when a double pass between Birgit Prinz and Conny Pohlers made its way past Sarholz, but Babett Peter blocked Prinz’s shot. A little bit later, Pohlers went in against Sarholz, who left her goal and allowed Frankfurt a giant chance to finish this game, yet Prinz tried to convert the cross by a bicycle kick which, went wide.

It was enough for Frankfurt anyway since Potsdam did not manage to play aggressively within the last 30 minutes. Frankfurt had control over the game for the most part. It just was unlucky that Mittag’s goal did not count and proved to be decisive for the win.

Frankfurt: Angerer (c) – Krieger, Hingst, Lewandowski, Weber (90+1 Thunebro) – Behringer (81 Landström), Smisek, Marozsan, Garefrekes – Prinz, Huth (61. Pohlers)

Potsdam: Sarholz – Wesely (62. M. Kerschowski), Peter, Henning – Schmidt, Zietz (c), Odebrecht, Kemme (46. I. Kerschowski) – Mittag, Bajramaj, Nagasato (81 Andonova)

Goals: 1-0 Huth (15, Krieger), 1-1 Nagasato (42, Mittag), 2-1 Garefrekes (48, Prinz)

Scoring Opportunities: 8-8 (5-5)

Yellow Cards: Weber/Mittag

Attendance: 20,312