VfL Wolfsburg on the past character of Paris Saint-Germain
When the Dutch footballers meet in Zeist next week for exhibition matches with Germany and Poland, national coach Andries Jonker will certainly meet the smiling faces of Dominique Janssen, Jill Roord and Lynn Wilms.
All three VfL Wolfsburg players qualified for the Champions League semi-finals on Thursday night. It was at the expense of Paris Saint-Germain (1-1). The draw was enough for VfL Wolfsburg after the 0-1 win in Paris, where Janssen scored the only goal from a penalty last week.
Contrary to the positive mood of Janssen, Roord and Wilms, Lieke Martens faced yet another disappointment against Paris Saint-Germain. The winger, who was on the bench for the whole game last week, was substituted after 54 minutes this time. She could hardly impress in that. Jackie Groenen didn’t even play for the Parisian club at all. The midfielder is injured. She also had to cancel training camp in Zeist, where the Orange squad are preparing for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next summer.
Team spirit and intransigence
What can strengthen national coach Jonker is the way VfL Wolfsburg joined the last four European clubs. Paris Saint-Germain once again showed on the return that they had better quality players, but the German club, twice winner of the Champions League, knew how to use team spirit and intransigence. A nice message for Orange, who gently slipped after the lost World Cup final four years ago and will not be one of the big favorites for the World Cup this summer.
The German team showed what joining forces can mean. VfL Wolfsburg, for example, have strong footballers like Alexandra Popp, who opened the scoring after twenty minutes. She intercepted the ball in midfield, set up a combination with Felicitas Rauch and curled the ball past goalkeeper Bouhaddi after an all-or-nothing attempt. Popp hit the post in the second half.
Stay true to your character
Paris Saint-Germain remained the best team. After half an hour, the Parisian club equalized. Kadidiatou Diani beat Janssen in the air: 1-1. The French striker was by far the most dangerous player among the visitors. VfL Wolfsburg were relieved of a problem when Diani had to leave the pitch with a shoulder injury just before the break. Because Roord, among others, failed to make it 2-1 after the break, VfL Wolfsburg had to keep their character in the final stage. And it worked. The Champions League final, which will be played on June 3 at Philips Stadium in Eindhoven, therefore remains in sight for the three orange internationals of VfL Wolfsburg.
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