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Simic double seals it

FCB Women claim prestigious Bundesliga Cup

The FC Bayern Women have fought off stiff competition to win the Bundesliga Cup. Coach Thomas Wörle’s team beat Women’s Champions League holders FFC Turbine Potsdam on Saturday, midfielder Julia Simic scoring both goals in a 2-1 win to seal the FCB team’s first significant trophy in 35 years.

A crowd of 2,000 at the training facility on the Audi Sportpark site in Ingolstadt saw two evenly-matched teams battle it out in the 30 minutes each way final. The FCB Women matched the German champions and 2011 Champions League finalists for commitment and effort, and deservedly picked up the cup with two free-kick goals from Simic, sandwiching a contentious penalty by Jennifer Zietz.

Desire wins the day

“You could see we wanted it more than Potsdam. We were more passionate about it,“ commented Wörle, “I’m delighted for my team. Their approach to the League Cup has been first class from the start, and as a consequence, we’ve won the tournament.“

The coach was forced to field a weakened side against Turbine: Petra Wimbersky and Vanessa Bürki are long-term injury casualties, and keeper Kathrin Längert tore an ankle ligament in training two days ago. Replacement Nicole Maurer was soon in the thick of the action after the final got underway on a very warm afternoon in Ingolstadt.

Simic in the corner

Potsdam pair Isabel Kerschowski and Marie-Louise Bagehorn put range-finders wide of the target, but Maurer did exceptionally well on eight minutes to parry Natasa Andonova’s first-time effort.

Kerschowski came up inches short of a dangerous cross just a minute later, but for all Potsdam’s half-chances, Simic was gaining the upper hand in midfield, and the Germany junior international put her side ahead with a curling 20-yard free-kick after 11 minutes.

Dubious award

Champions Potsdam upped the tempo, but the Munich defence held firm until an unlucky call by referee Marija Kurtes midway through the half. FCB keeper Maurer clearly played the ball in a one-on-one with Isabel Kerschowski, but the match official pointed to the spot and Zietz duly levelled the scores.

FCB recovered immediately from conceding the goal, but Ivana Rudelic and Simic aimed wide of the target. However, with half-time approaching, Simic floated a free-kick into the mix from the left wing, the ball evading a crowd of bodies in the box and creeping in at the far stick.

Rudelic off target

In the second half, Wörle’s team put up a brave fight against the physically robust Potsdam outfit, although the pace gradually dropped as both sides toiled in the searing early summer heat. Munich restricted Turbine to long-range efforts, but rarely posed a threat on the break themselves.

However, FCB might have gone further ahead after 35 minutes when Nicole Banecki burst down the left and crossed, but Rudelic missed by inches and Lena Lotzen’s follow-up was blocked.

Exhausted but happy

At the other end, Daniela Löwenberg headed wide of an empty net on 44 minutes, before Viola Odebrecht deflected a shot just wide of Maurer’s goal. Turbine never looked like equalising after that, as the Bayern players greeted the final whistle with cheers of jubilation and delight.