For the first time in six seasons, a new Women’s Champions League winner will be crowned.
Paris Saint-incredible Germain’s quarterfinal revival against perennial champion Lyon put an end to one of modern football’s most dominant dynasties.
Lyon has won the last five Women’s Champions League titles and has looked in imperious form this season, making it a favorite to win a sixth title in a row. With a 1-0 deficit from the first leg, PSG got off to the worst possible start in the second leg on Sunday, as Catarina Macario gave Lyon the lead after just five minutes.
PSG now had a mountain to climb, but in recent seasons, this team has been creeping closer to Lyon both domestically and in Europe.
Grace Geyoro began the comeback in the 26th minute, firing a brilliant shot past Lyon goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi’s outstretched arm, before Wendy Renard’s calamitous own goal gave PSG the second goal it needed to tie the match at 2-2.
Lyon started to push relentlessly in search of a winner with the tie finely balanced and PSG through to the semifinals on the away goals rule.
Despite the strain that teams had put on Lyon in recent years in the Champions League, there seemed to be an aura of invincibility surrounding this squad. It appeared in the dying minutes of the game that Lyon will maintain its incredible winning streak in this match.
Renard’s flicked header in the box found Melvine Malard in front of goal, but the forward’s effort was bizarrely saved by PSG goalkeeper Christiane Endler’s glove.
Three Lyon players held their heads in their hands, and Malard gave the team’s bench a look of complete shock, unable to believe the shot had been saved.
It was a fitting end to a remarkable week for Endler, who is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper on the planet. She led Chile’s women’s national football team to its first Olympic Games on Tuesday.
PSG would arguably be the favorite to win this season’s competition after dethroning the squad many considered unbeatable. The road ahead, however, is still treacherous. PSG will face Barcelona, the new Spanish league champion, who is probably the most in-form squad in Europe. The Catalan club has won all 23 of its games this season, putting them 14 points clear of second-placed Levante.
In those games, the team has scored an incredible 119 goals while only conceding four. While the result of this season’s competition is still uncertain, one thing is certain: for the first time in six years, a new name will be engraved on the trophy.