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Wolfsburg win 10th straight German Cup, deny Bayern double

May 9, 2024

Bayern Munich may have wrestled the Bundesliga title away, but Wolfsburg would not give up the German Cup so easily. A 2-0 win was a great relief for Alexandra Popp, while a player leaving for Bayern shone for Wolfsburg.

Alexandra Popp kisses the German Cup
Alexandra Popp has grown accustomed to lifting the German CupImage: Steinbrenner/IMAGO

The tide in German women's football had appeared to be turning. Bayern Munich had wrapped up a second successive Bundesliga title the weekend before the cup final, with big names like Pernille Harder and Georgia Stanway helping them ease away from perennial powerhouses, Wolfsburg.

But goals from Jule Brand and Dominique Janssen saw the She Wolves win the German Cup for the 10th time in a row on Thursday in front of a sold-out crowd of about 44,000 in Cologne. Having lost 4-0 and 2-1 to the big-spending Bavarians in the league, Wolfsburg's veteran captain Alexandra Popp admitted to feeling "extremely big relief" after the match.

"You didn't know what to expect because we didn't play a good season," said the Germany striker, whose side crashed out of the Champions League in a shock loss to Paris FC in the qualifiers. "But we showed up on the pitch today. That's Wolfsburg, that's my team and that's us in the German Cup."

Party time for Popp and Oberdorf

Popp said her side were ready for an "extreme party" to celebrate their win. But her Germany teammate Klara Bühl was "massively disappointed" after her Bayern side lost the chance of a first ever double.

"We imagined it differently. We slept through the first half and came to every challenge a step too late. We were missing aggression and a bit of emotion," she told German broadcaster ZDF.

Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich players battle for the ball
Wolfsburg scored both of their goals in a strong first half displayImage: FloriannWiegan/IMAGO

Perhaps the main reason for Bayern's lack of bite was the performance of Lena Oberdorf in Wolfsburg's midfield. The tough-tackling midfielder was formidable once again in her last meaningful match for Wolfsburg before she moves to her opponents ahead of next season.

"For me was all the more important for me to show that I play for VfL Wolfsburg and give my all for the shirt on my back," Oberdorf said.

Another final sellout

The German record transfer of the 22-year-old, agreed in February, looked to have highlighted the shift in power between the Bundesliga's only two superpowers. Bayern appeared to have an ambtion that Wolfsburg cannot currently match.

The win could perhaps be seen as important for German football given Bayern Munich's dominance of the men’s league title, with their 12-year winning running having finally been ended by Bayer Leverkusen this season. Such a monopoly would do the women's game few favors.

While the Frauen Bundesliga has not quite grown as aggressively as some European leagues during the recent women's football boom, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who's also responsible for sports, praised Wolfsburg and the development of the sport in Germany.

"Respect for this performance. I was particularly pleased that the women's final was sold-out for the second time after last year. This not only contributed to a great atmosphere, but also clearly shows that women's football is getting more and more of the attention it deserves," she said. 

Edited by: Louis Oelofse