Super Falcons striker, Asisat Oshoala, was left out of Barcelona’s starting XI as they fought back from two goals to defeat VfL Wolfsburg 3-2 in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Saturday.
Oshoala missed the game at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. due to injury.
Fridolina Rolfo struck the winner in the 70th minute after Patri Guijarro had scored twice in two minutes at the start of the second half as Barca fought back to claim the trophy for the second time in three years.
Goals from Ewa Pajor and Alexandra Popp had given two-time winners Wolfsburg a comfortable lead going into half-time, but the German side collapsed after the break as Barca ramped up the pressure.
Barca were appearing in their fourth final in the last five years and the manner of their comeback will give way to arguments that they are now the dominant team in European football.
Lyon will rightly contest that, though. They have won six of the last eight Champions Leagues and have never lost in the competition to Barca, who they beat in the 2019 and 2022 finals.
However, Jonatan Giraldez’s side are here to stay. They won a fourth straight Liga F title in Spain, too, and recently saw a 64-game unbeaten streak in the league ended.
Wolfsburg’s season, meanwhile, ends in disappointment. They also missed out on the Frauen-Bundesliga, pipped to top spot by Bayern Munich, although they did win the DFB-Pokal Frauen.
“I am so emotional … I never thought this would happent,” Rolfo said postmatch. “At 2-0, at the beginning, I thought we can do it. It was really hard, but we showed so much mentality today and I am so proud of the team.”
Barca, who beat Wolfsburg 5-3 on aggregate in last year’s semifinal, were favourites going into the game but produced a first half performance which brought back memories of last year’s final defeat to Lyon, when they trailed 3-0 after 33 minutes.