Lyon goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi turned goal-scorer to clinch a record-equaling fourth Champions League title for the holders with a penalty shootout victory over Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday.
After the all-French European final ended 0-0 after extra time and penalties went to sudden death, PSG goalkeeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek missed from the spot. But her opposite number, Bouhaddi, made no mistake with the next kick to seal a 7-6 victory.
“Sarah is great with her feet,” Lyon coach Gerard Precheur said. “I think she’s the best goalkeeper in the world anyway, but she’s outstanding with her feet. I asked her to take a penalty in a league match too, because I thought she could score. (Tonight) was the right moment, because the other goalkeeper had missed.”
Lyon also won last year’s UEFA final on penalties, and the season ends with a treble again, having also won the French league and cup.
There was an early blow for Lyon in the Cardiff City stadium. American forward Alex Morgan recovered from a hamstring injury to start but she was forced off after 23 minutes. Lyon then lost Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg on the hour with stomach problems.
“It wasn’t easy to score a goal,” Precheur said. “But it was a good match, a good showcase for women’s football.”
Frankfurt is the other team to have won the top prize in European women’s soccer four times. PSG has now lost two finals and is yet to lift the cup.
“We’ll go back to work, we’ll never give up,” PSG coach Patrice Lair said. “We’ve been building our team. We might not have had enough players to win every competition but we need to be very strong mentally. We’ll keep building and trying to get closer to Lyon, who are stronger than us at the moment.”
Ahead of the final, UEFA launched a campaign _ #WePlayStrong _ aimed to encouraging more women to play soccer across Europe.