It took penalties to decide the semifinal of The Women’s Cup tie between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, and the Bavarians were the winners 5-4 on penalties after 2-2 in regulation. The Bavarians will now move on to Saturday’s Final to take on the winner of Racing Louisville and the Chicago Red Stars.
Saki Kumagai made a great first impression.
The Japanese international hasn’t been able to appear in any of Bayern’s preseason matches so far this season, because she spent the majority of her summer in Tokyo at the Olympics. It only took her one half, however, to make an instant impact on the field.
Kumagai started alongside Sarah Zadrazil in the midfield and helped Bayern control the vast majority of the match. She also showed her superb passing ability with her perfect pass on Linda Dallmann’s goal.
Her leadership qualities and experience were already a big boost to Bayern, and if she keeps playing like this, she’s going to find her way into the starting lineup.
Bayern were poor on set pieces.
Throughout the match, Bayern were weak defensively on set pieces. While the goal scored by Kheira Hamraoui for PSG was a great header on a corner kick, she found herself nearly unmarked in the box thanks to some confusion among the Bayern players in the box.
Now, some of that can be chalked up to the new players Bayern are still integrating into the squad this summer. At the time the goal was scored, three new summer signings (Kumagai, goalkeeper Janina Leitzig, defender Maxi Rall) were on the field.
Bayern coach Jens Scheuer will be expecting better defending from his side once the real games begin; however, one must remember that PSG are the reigning French champions. They’re no slouches.
Lea Schüller was a handful.
With one goal and one assist on the day, Schüller showed why she’s one of the world’s best forwards. The 23 year old got the “hockey assist” on Dallman’s opener with a great pass laying Kumagai into space in the PSG penalty area. Then, a few minutes later, she was first to react to Carolin Simon’s free kick hitting the crossbar, heading the rebound into the goal for Bayern’s second goal of the match.
Schüller scored 26 goals in all competitions last season, and it’s very possible that she’ll hit the 30 goal mark this season.
Watch out, Europe!