WOLFSBURG, Germany: Wolfsburg will face Arsenal in the Women’s Champions League semifinals after beating Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-1 draw at home on Thursday.
Two-time Champions League winners Wolfsburg took an early lead through star striker Alexandra Popp but that was soon canceled out by a Kadidiatou Diani equalizer.
The Wolves were unable to strike the killer blow despite dominating the second half, with Popp missing several chances.
Wolfsburg manager Tommy Stroot enjoyed his side’s “extremely special” victory, saying “we made it, we’re proud of it — and now Arsenal waits for us.”
Three-time Champions League winner Popp told DAZN: “We are mega happy and mega proud. It was a hard fight but we dug in.”
Wolfsburg came into the match needing just a draw to progress, after a 1-0 away win in the first leg.
Stroot reacted by picking a more defensive line-up, benching tournament top scorer Ewa Pajor in favor of reinforcing the midfield with Sveindis Jonsdottir.
Seemingly stung by Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Bayern Munich, which saw Wolfsburg relinquish their lead atop the table, the home side started slowly, enduring wave after wave of PSG attacks.
The Wolves were lucky to have a 12th-minute Diani goal chalked off for a narrow offside and even luckier six minutes later when Popp curled in a shot from outside the box on Wolfsburg’s first foray deep into PSG territory.
With Wolfsburg building, PSG took their turn at scoring against the run of play, Diani heading in a looped cross from Sakina Karchaoui to level the scores and halve the deficit in the tie.
Diani went down clutching her shoulder late in the first half and played no further part, depriving PSG of a forward focal point.
Early in the second half, Popp had a chance to put the match beyond PSG’s reach but she blasted wide when presented with an open goal.