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FCB women heartbroken but proud

The dust was beginning to settle at the Grünwalder Stadion ten minutes after the final whistle blew. For a moment there was silence, then came a loud cry, though from the visitor’s side, as they celebrated advancing to the Champions League round of 16. On the home team’s end, however, tears were flowing.

“It’s bitter. It’s painful for the girls, for me too,” said Bayern coach Thomas Wörle after the 2-2 draw. FC Twente advanced to the next round of the UEFA Women’s Champions League on away goals despite the draw. “The disappointment is huge,” added captain Melanie Behringer. “You can’t really believe you’re out of the Champions League,” said Melanie Leupolz.

20-4 shots in the return, 40-12 total in both games – the stats attest to the FC Bayern women’s dominance with the exception of chances created: “My team would’ve earned advancing. They were the better team in both games, thoroughly making use of chances. We’ll have to be more efficient at that,” said Wörle.

Undefeated streak intact

The Dutch side made use of virtually every one of their chances with Jill Roord (13’) and Maud Roetgering (56’, PK) putting them up twice, though equalizers from Kristina Erman (29’/OG) and Melanie Behringer weren’t enough. Despite bowing out of the Champions League, the Bayern women remain undefeated in their eighth competitive match of the season.

The Bayern women, naturally, had hoped for more for their return to the Champions League after a six-year absence. “We wanted to get far along in the competition,” said Behringer. “Everyone was fired up for the game. We were sure we’d make it.” “It was a great stage, something very special. The girls want to get back there, that’s why it’s such a big disappointment,” added Wörle.

'Give it our all in the league’

Despite the exit, coach Thomas Wörle gave the team “a huge compliment. They showed great morale and mindset. They dominated both games. What we did was sensational.” It was important to note, as Wörle mentioned, that six players were missing. “We could have really used them. But the team has been doing a good job in taking it in stride for months now.”

Now the motto is: chin up! “We have to swallow the bitter pill and learn from this. This experience will help us to get a little stronger. We can only improve as a team because of it,” added Wörle. The team needs time, he added, “to develop and get on Champions League level of play. Twente had that advantage over us.”

The Bayern women won’t have much time to grieve the loss as Bundesliga action returns this Sunday (2 pm CET) against SC Freiburg. “Everyone wants to play in the Champions League again next season. That’s why we have to give it our all in the league. Everyone knows that,” said Behringer. “We’ll recharge our batteries.”