UWCL: Wolfsburg Hammer Glasgow City

The pouring rain in San Sebastián did not dampen Wolfsburg’s excitement for the European restart. One of the favorites to reach the final, die Wölfinnen made short work of Glasgow City and scored a clinical 9–1 win, with four goals from Pernille Harder and a brace from Ingrid Engen. They now advance to face Barcelona, who won 1–0 against Spanish rivals Atlético Madrid, in the semi-final on Tuesday.

Glasgow City were the only part-time team left in the quarter-finals and getting past Wolfsburg was always going to be a daunting task. Rather than sending out a B-team, Wolfsburg head coach Stephan Lerch opted for a strong starting 11 with Harder, Ewa Pajor, and Svenja Huth all getting the call. Captain of the German national team, Alex Popp played in the middle of the park rather than her customary striker role at the international level. Friederike Abt got the nod over new signing Katarzyna Kiedrzynek in goal.

In the opening minutes, Glasgow City managed to contain Wolfsburg well and even went on a few counter-attacking forays. Krystyna Freda, Glasgow’s on-loan striker, was a willing runner, but her team’s defensive set-up meant that she was often isolated up top. While Wolfsburg was settling into the game, Pajor was bright and dangerous as she drifted wide to run at Glasgow defenders and to serve balls centrally.

Glasgow City’s containment plan went haywire quickly. 16 minutes in, Harder received the ball from the right near the halfway line and immediately dribbled forward and in. She played a give-and-go, cutting open Glasgow’s two banks of players, then fired a low shot to make it 1–0. Less than five minutes later, Engen easily headed in from a corner for Wolfsburg’s second.

They say that 2–0 is the most difficult lead in soccer, so of course Wolfsburg wouldn’t want to get stuck there. Shortly before half-time, Engen and Harder both got their braces, with the latter scoring from a training-ground free-kick routine.

Coming out of the break, Lerch subbed on new signing Pauline Bremer for Pajor, but it was another German international who heated up in the second half. Huth found space to operate down the right and served in some excellent crosses, also from free kicks. The Huth & Harder show brought Wolfsburg up 5–0 up by the 56th minute, and Glasgow were simply playing damage control.

Wolfsburg were cruising, yet their Achilles heel showed again. Their suspect central defense, now with Dominique Janssen subbed in, has had persistent issues dealing with long balls over the top and runners going behind. In the 62nd minute, Glasgow City winger Lauren Wade split the two center-backs and fired in a bending shot from the left that Abt simply had no chance.

Any small hope of a comeback for Glasgow City, however, was quickly extinguished. Felicitas Rauch scored on the other end, and another Huth-to-Harder goal made it 7–1 by the 72nd minute. Adding insult to injury, two late own goals left the final scoreline 9–1, with Wolfsburg’s ninth coming from a Lena Oberdorf shot from the tightest of angles deflected into goal.

About Sean Wang 16 Articles
I became a diehard women's soccer fan after catching the epic 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final between Japan and the US at a dive bar in Jordan, Montana. A Berliner since 2017, I can be frequently found shouting in front of the computer while watching OL Reign play in the NWSL, and catching Frauen-Bundesliga actions in Potsdam and on local television. Come talk "Quatsch" with me on Twitter!