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Dabritz spoils Powell's big evening: Lyon beats Benfica after falling behind

Dabritz spoils Powell's big evening: Lyon beats Benfica after falling behind

Olympique Lyonnais, favorites to win the title, got their head back at the right time during the first leg of their quarter-final against Benfica, pulling a goal back in the first half with a clear improvement in performance. National player Dabritz, of all people, spoiled the evening for Benfica's powerful German goalkeeper Pauwels.

Two scenes and two emotions: first Lena Pauwels (left) celebrated Benfica's lead, then Sarah Dabritz made the perfect comeback.
imago pictures

After a 1-1 draw with Damienense, Benfica coach Philippa Patau relied on two Germans in her starting lineup: goalkeeper Pauwels, who was supposed to play a key role, and midfielder Jasper. After the 4-0 win over Fleury, Lyon coach Sonia Bombastor called up only one German player: Dabritz started in contrast to goalkeeper Benkarth and Maruzan.

UWCL, quarterfinals, first leg

It was a very tight game in the first half, which was also confirmed by looking at the stats during the break. However, the favorite Lyon did not develop enough penetration up front and was very weak at the back: Endler barely blocked Falcone's shot on the post with his inside instep (7th). Shortly afterwards, striker Nicole Risla, who suffered a serious ankle injury, was taken off the field (16th place).

However, the Portuguese did not let this bother them – and took the lead after 43 minutes: Andrea Faria intercepted a poor pass in the final series, and the Portuguese then ran alone towards the OL goal and calmly slotted it into the bottom left corner. The visitors looked shocked, but after Gill's next huge error, Davidson lacked the necessary accuracy in the end (44th).

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Bombastor has clearly found the right words for Round 2, and soon OL will show a completely different face – and German goalkeeper Pauwels will have a lot of work to do. After a good hour, Diagne was completely empty on the right side of the penalty area, but the former Bremen player in the Benfica goal had a great reaction (62).

Cascarino scores in her first Champions League match of the season

However, in the scene that followed, she was helpless as her defense team fell asleep after a throw-in: Dumornay, who had just been substituted, made a brilliant back-heel pass to the crowded Cascarino, who very coolly turned it over to score. 1-1 in its first league match of the season (63.).

Now it was evident that the Portuguese, whose power was becoming more and more diminished, were backward and swimming dangerously. Captain Carroll played the ball at Dabritz's feet inside her team's penalty area, and she shot against the left post (minute 68). Then it was the unlucky Diagne who failed twice in the space of seconds due to Pauwels' brilliant reaction (73rd).


Becciu, who replaced Diagne, performed better with her first touch of the ball, but her supposed opening goal was conceded due to an earlier offside position (77'). Two minutes later, it was 2-1 for Lyon: Horan danced past her opponent on the right flank and passed smoothly to Dabritz, who headed past Pauwels, who had no chance (79).

Benfica was weak and powerless, which is why they almost took a 3-1 lead, but Horan, who was completely free in the penalty area, finished the game very quickly (90 + 1). So success remains narrow for Lyon, who still promise excitement in the second leg next Wednesday (6.45pm).

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Before that, Lyon will play away in the domestic league – on Saturday at 1.30pm in Lille. An hour and a half later, Benfica welcomes third-placed Braga.